The US military has carried out air strikes in Iraq and Syria, targeting operational and weapons storage facilities of Iran-backed militia. Photograph: US Air Force/AFP/Getty Images


The US has carried out airstrikes against Iran-backed militia in Iraq and Syria, in response to drone attacks against US personnel and facilities in Iraq.

The strikes on Sunday targeted operational and weapons storage facilities at two locations in Syria and one location in Iraq, the Pentagon said.

The Pentagon press secretary, John Kirby, described the airstrikes as “defensive”, saying they were launched in response to an “ongoing series of attacks by Iran-backed groups targeting US interests in Iraq”.

“The United States took necessary, appropriate and deliberate action designed to limit the risk of escalation – but also to send a clear and unambiguous deterrent message,” Kirby said.

The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, a Britain-based group that closely monitors the Syrian conflict, reported that at least five Iraqi militiamen were killed in the airstrikes.