Moscow strongly condemns US air strikes in Syria

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Moscow strongly condemns U.S. air strikes in Syria in opposition to services belonging to what the Pentagon mentioned have been Iran-backed militia, Russia’s Foreign Ministry mentioned on Friday.

“We strongly condemn such actions,” the ministry’s spokeswoman Maria Zakharova mentioned. “We call for the unconditional respect of the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Syria.”

US President Joe Biden on Thursday directed US army airstrikes in japanese Syria in opposition to services belonging to what the Pentagon mentioned have been Iran-backed militia, in a calibrated response to rocket assaults in opposition to U.S. targets in Iraq.

The strikes seemed to be restricted in scope, doubtlessly decreasing the chance of escalation. It was not instantly clear what harm was brought about.

Syrian state-owned Ekhbariya TV mentioned the strikes had been at daybreak in opposition to a number of targets close to the Syrian-Iraqi border, and quoted a medical supply at a hospital in the realm and different unspecified native sources as saying 17 folks had been killed.

That toll couldn’t be independently confirmed.Biden’s determination to strike solely in Syria and never in Iraq, no less than for now, provides Iraq’s authorities some respiration room because it carries out its personal investigation right into a Feb. 15 assault that wounded Americans.

“At President (Joe) Biden’s direction, U.S. military forces earlier this evening conducted air strikes against infrastructure utilized by Iranian-backed militant groups in eastern Syria,” Pentagon spokesman John Kirby mentioned in a press release.

“President Biden will act to protect American and Coalition personnel. At the same time, we have acted in a deliberate manner that aims to de-escalate the overall situation in both eastern Syria and Iraq,” Kirby mentioned.

He mentioned the strikes destroyed a number of services at a border management level utilized by various Iranian-backed militant teams, together with Kata’ib Hezbollah and Kata’ib Sayyid al-Shuhada.After the air strikes, the Iranian and Syrian overseas ministers spoke and underlined “the need of the West to adhere to U.N. Security Council resolutions regarding Syria,” Iranian authorities web site Dolat.ir mentioned.

A U.S. official, talking on situation of anonymity, mentioned the choice to hold out the strikes was meant to ship a sign that, whereas the United States needed to punish the militias, it didn’t need the state of affairs to spiral into a much bigger battle.The official mentioned Biden was introduced with a variety of choices and one of many extra restricted responses was chosen.

Michael McCaul, the highest Republican on the House of Representatives’ overseas affairs committee, mentioned the strikes “remind Iran, its proxies, and our adversaries around the world that attacks on U.S. interests will not be tolerated.”

Suzanne Maloney, of the Brookings Institution suppose tank, declared the strikes a “Good move” on Twitter, saying they confirmed the Biden administration may each negotiate with Iran on the nuclear deal and push again in opposition to the militias Tehran backed.

The rocket assaults on U.S. positions in Iraq have been carried out as Washington and Tehran search a technique to return to the 2015 nuclear deal deserted by former U.S. President Donald Trump.It was not clear how, or whether or not, the strike would possibly have an effect on U.S. efforts to coax Iran again right into a negotiation about each side resuming compliance with the settlement.

In the Feb. 15 assault, rockets hit the U.S. army base housed at Erbil International Airport in the Kurdish-run area, killing one non-American contractor and wounding various American contractors and a U.S. service member.

Another salvo struck a base internet hosting U.S. forces north of Baghdad days later, hurting no less than one contractor.Rockets on Monday hit Baghdad’s Green Zone, which homes the U.S. Embassy and different diplomatic missions. The Kata’ib Hezbollah group, one of many foremost Iran-aligned Iraqi militia teams, denied any position in the rocket assaults.

Some Western and Iraqi officers say the assaults, typically claimed by little-known teams, are being carried out by militants with hyperlinks to Kata’ib Hezbollah as a manner for Iranian allies to harass U.S. forces with out being held accountable.Since late 2019, the United States has carried out high-profile strikes in opposition to Kata’ib Hezbollah in Iraq and Syria in response to typically lethal rocket assaults in opposition to U.S.-led forces.

Under the Trump administration, the escalatory back-and-forth stoked tensions, culminating in the U.S. killing of Iranian army chief Qassem Soleimani and a retaliatory Iranian ballistic missile assault in opposition to U.S. forces in Iraq final yr.

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