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U.S. Bombs Syria To ‘Send Message’ To Iraqi Militias; Russia ‘Strongly Condemns Such Actions’

Feb. 26 , 2021 (EIRNS)—Pentagon spokesman John Kirby announced last night that the U.S. military launched air strikes on facilities in Syria said to be used by two Shi’ite militia groups in Iraq. This is the first known U.S. military action since Biden’s inauguration. “At President Biden’s direction, U.S. military forces earlier this evening conducted airstrikes against infrastructure utilized by Iranian-backed militant groups in eastern Syria. These strikes were authorized in response to recent attacks against American and Coalition personnel in Iraq, and to ongoing threats to those personnel. Specifically, the strikes destroyed multiple facilities located at a border control point used by a number of Iranian-backed militant groups, including Kait’ib Hezbollah (KH) and Kait’ib Sayyid al-Shuhada (KSS),” Kirby said in a statement. “This proportionate military response was conducted together with diplomatic measures, including consultation with Coalition partners. The operation sends an unambiguous message: 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.”

The Syrian Foreign Ministry issued a statement calling the air strikes “a flagrant violation of the rules of international law and Charter of the United Nations.” Furthermore, it said that the U.S. air strikes came at the time that UN Special Envoy for Syria was in Damascus “and this sends a message of a U.S. disregard of the role of international legitimacy in resolving the crisis in Syria.”

The U.S. attack was also denounced in Moscow. “We strongly condemn such actions. We call for unconditional respect for the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Syria. We reaffirm our rejection of any attempts to turn Syrian territory into an arena for the settling of geopolitical scores,” Russian Foreign Ministry spokesman Maria Zakharova said this morning. Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov later said that the U.S. provided little warning to the Russian military in Syria. “Our military were warned four or five minutes before [the airstrike],” he said. “Of course, such warnings are of little use when the strike is basically carried out at that moment.”

In Beijing, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Wang Wenbin called on “relevant parties to respect Syria’s sovereignty, independence and territorial integrity and avoid further complicating the situation in Syria.”

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