Biden Authorizes Attacks on Iranian Faction in Iraq Following Injury of 3 US Service Members

Following an attack on Erbil Air Base, President Biden authorized strikes on three locations in Iraq, responding to the injury of three U.S. service members, one critically.

The early Christmas morning attack was attributed to a militia group supported by Iran. National Security Council spokesperson Adrienne Watson stated on Monday that the strikes targeted facilities used by Kataib Hezbollah and affiliated groups, linked to Iran.

The retaliatory strikes were directed at unmanned aerial drone activities, as the initial attack was executed using a one-way attack drone. President Biden made the decision upon learning of the assault on U.S. service members.

“President Biden was immediately briefed on the attack this morning, and he ordered the Department of Defense to prepare response options against those responsible. Those options were then presented to the President during a call this afternoon with Secretary of Defense Austin and members of the President’s national security team,” the statement read.

“During that call, the President directed strikes against three locations utilized by Kataib Hezbollah and affiliated groups focused specifically on unmanned aerial drone activities,” the statement continued.

“The President places no higher priority than the protection of American personnel serving in harm’s way. The United States will act at a time and in a manner of our choosing should these attacks continue.”

Against the backdrop of the ongoing Israeli war in Gaza, tensions rise in the region. The Biden administration supports Israel in the conflict, prompting militia groups backed by Iran to escalate their military activities in response to the Gaza bombardment.

Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin labeled the strikes as “necessary and proportionate,” aiming to disrupt and degrade the capabilities of the Iran-aligned militia groups responsible. Austin, echoing Biden’s warning, emphasized the U.S.’s readiness to take additional action if deemed necessary.

“Let me be clear – the President and I will not hesitate to take necessary action to defend the United States, our troops, and our interests. There is no higher priority,” Austin said in the statement.

“While we do not seek to escalate conflict in the region, we are committed and fully prepared to take further necessary measures to protect our people and our facilities.”