The US Department of Defense Pentagon confirms in a short statement that they have attacked at least 85 targets in Syria and Iraq from the air on Friday evening.
According to Reuters, the Iraqi Prime Minister says that 16 have been killed in the attacks in Iraq. Among the dead are civilians. In addition, 25 are injured.
Foreign Minister Espen Barth Eide (Ap) says the attacks against American forces must end.
– We are now seeing a serious development. We understand America’s need to respond to the attacks. It is important that all actors now contribute to calming the situation and avoid further escalation.
Several other countries have shown their support. Britain says in a statement that it is a staunch ally of the United States.
– We support their right to respond to the attacks.
Polish Foreign Minister Radosław Sikorski is also aware that the US had to respond. He says that Iran has been playing with fire for several years, and that they are now burning themselves.
On Saturday morning, several militia groups claimed that they had attacked bases with American soldiers. The United States has not confirmed the attacks, and no deaths or injuries have been reported.
– We must have ice cream in our stomachs
Jon Hanssen-Bauer has been ambassador to both Israel and Lebanon, and has followed developments in the Middle East closely. He is not surprised by the attacks.
– There have been many large-scale attacks against American interests, and it is legitimate for the United States to respond again. The strong reactions from the Iraqi government today are as expected, he says to NRK.
He does not think there is a danger of a further escalation.
– I mean we should have ice cream in our stomachs. But a lot will depend on what happens in the next few days and a week ahead. Nevertheless, there is always a danger of escalation, as the situation is now.
– Our response began today
The Syrian Ministry of Defense says, according to AFP, that the American attack has resulted in several civilians and soldiers being killed. Several people are also said to be injured and there is significant damage to public and private property.
Earlier, the news agency reported that at least 18 pro-Iranian fighters must have been killed.
– Our response began today. It will continue wherever we want, whenever we want, says a statement from President Joe Biden.
He goes on to say that the US does not want any conflict in the Middle East or elsewhere in the world.
– But anyone who wants to harm us should know this: If you harm an American, we will respond.
Syrian authorities say the US occupation of Syrian territory cannot continue. The US currently has around 900 soldiers stationed in north-east Syria, where they, among other things, guard an oil field and have a smaller base near the border with Iraq.
The Iraqi military says the US attack in the country’s border region violates sovereignty and poses a threat that could have serious consequences.
– These airstrikes constitute a violation of Iraq’s integrity, undermine the government’s efforts and pose a threat that could lead Iraq and the region into serious consequences, says spokesperson Yahya Rasool in a statement on Friday.
According to Iraq, the attacks have been aimed at the country’s border areas.
Biden’s national security adviser, John Kirby, claims in a statement on Friday evening that the Iraqi authorities were notified in advance of the attacks.
Three American soldiers killed
Among other things, the US is said to have used long-range bombers and drones during the attack, which is said to have occurred at 10 p.m. Norwegian time.
Among the targets are said to have been command centres, rockets, missiles and drone warehouses.
On Thursday, Reuters reported that the US had approved plans for an attack over several days.
President Joe Biden promised revenge after an Iranian-backed group attacked an American base in Jordan on the night of Sunday, January 28.
The Islamic Resistance in Iraq, an umbrella group of Iran-backed militant groups, has claimed responsibility for the attack.
Three American soldiers were killed and over 30 were injured.
The soldiers William Jerome Rivers (46), Kennedy Ladon Sanders (24) and Breonna Alexsondria Moffett (23) were killed in the attack.
Biden has previously claimed that Iran is partly responsible for the attack.
– I hold Iran responsible, in the sense that they deliver the weapons to the people who did it, Biden said earlier this week.
Iran claims they were not involved
It is the first time Americans have been killed in an attack in the region since the war between Israel and Hamas broke out on October 7.
This has led to fears that the conflict would escalate further.
Iran claims it had nothing to do with the attack and rejects US accusations that it supports the militia groups it says are behind the attack.
Jordan has condemned the attack on the US military base, calling it a terrorist attack.
According to Jordan, the attack came from Syria, writes AFP.
State Syrian media write that there are desert areas in the country that have been attacked, including along the border with Iraq, and that several people are said to have been killed. Al Jazeera writes that.