In a decisive military action, the United States launched precision airstrikes on facilities in Iraq.
In response to a series of attacks against U.S. and Coalition forces, the U.S. military retaliated with precision airstrikes against two facilities used by Iran and its proxies.
Following a series of hostile actions against U.S. and Coalition forces in Iraq and Syria, the U.S. Central Command (CENTCOM) initiated precise airstrikes on the morning of November 22. The targeted facilities, located in Iraq, were identified as operational centers for Iran and its supported militias. These strikes signify a robust response to the escalating aggression against U.S. forces in the region.
The decision for this military response was not taken lightly. It came in the wake of over 60 documented attacks by Iranian proxies against U.S. forces, marking a significant uptick in hostilities since October 17.
Particularly alarming was an incident on November 21, when Iran-backed militias launched close-range ballistic missiles at the Al-Asad Air Base, resulting in eight injuries.
This attack underscored the growing threat posed by these groups to U.S. military personnel and their allies. In a swift reaction to the missile attack at Al-Asad Air Base, a U.S. AC-130 gunship engaged a vehicle transporting militia members. The precision of the gunship's response, based on the identification of the missile launch point, led to the elimination of several militants involved in the attack.
The presence of U.S. troops in Iraq and Syria has been pivotal in preventing the resurgence of ISIS. However, this mission has become increasingly complex due to the hostile actions of Iranian-backed groups. The recent spike in attacks, totaling around 66 since mid-October, has not only threatened the stability of the region but also resulted in significant injuries to U.S. personnel.
Over 60 U.S. troops have sustained injuries, including at least 25 cases of traumatic brain injuries, underscoring the severity of these confrontations. U.S. Central Command, in a statement, expressed the rationale behind the strikes:
"On the morning of November 22 in Iraq, U.S. Central Command (USCENTCOM) forces conducted discrete, precision strikes against two facilities in Iraq... The strikes were in direct response to the attacks against U.S. and Coalition forces by Iran and Iran-backed groups, including the one in Iraq on November 21, which involved the use of close-range ballistic missiles."
The effectiveness of the U.S. military's response is highlighted by the capabilities of its assets in the field. The AC-130 gunship, instrumental in the post-missile attack response, demonstrated remarkable operational efficiency.
Pentagon deputy press secretary Sabrina Singh elaborated on this capability:
"The militants were targeted because the AC-130 was able to determine the point of origin from where the close-range ballistic missile was being fired upon — or fired to the base. So they were able to take action cause they saw the militants, they were able to keep an eye on the movement of these militants as they moved into their vehicles, and that's why they were able to respond."
The coming days will reveal the long-term implications of these airstrikes and how they may shape the future of Iraq and the broader Middle East.