After a little over a month in office, the Democratic president gave his first order for military action targeting facilities in an Arab state where American troops have been illegally deployed for years and remain under the pretext of fighting terrorism.
Space technology company Maxar Technologies has released purported satellite images of the territory near the Syria-Iraq border that was bombed by US forces on the night between 25 and 26 February, demonstrating the extent of the damage done by the strike.
The two satellite shots, presumably made before and after the US airstrike on Syrian soil, show a small compound consisting of around 10 buildings destroyed almost entirely in the raid.
The Pentagon said that the airstrike, ordered by US President Joe Biden, targeted a facility used by Kata’ib Hezbollah and Kata’ib Sayyid Al-Shuhada – two Iraqi militias that Washington accuses of being supported by Iran and of targeting US objects in Iraq. Yet it is still unclear if the facility indeed belonged to the two groups, whether any Syrians suffered from the airstrike, and how many Iraqi militants, if any, died as a result of the military action – the first by the Biden administration.
An anonymous US official told CNN that “up to a handful” militants were killed, while a UK-based NGO reported some 17 fighters’ deaths. The two militias reported only one death near the border between Syria and Iraq, but it’s not clear if this was related to the airstrike.