The US has initiated its third round of drone strikes against Iran-supported groups, amidst escalating tensions in the Middle East. This comes after the US embassy in Baghdad was targeted by rocket attacks, which the US has attributed to Iran-backed militias.
The US military confirmed the drone strikes on Sunday, stating that they were in response to the rocket attacks on the US embassy. The strikes targeted three operational and weapons storage facilities — two in Syria and one in Iraq.
The US has blamed Kata’ib Hezbollah, an Iran-backed militia, for the rocket attacks on the embassy. The group has denied responsibility, but the US maintains that they have evidence linking them to the attacks.
The strikes mark the third time the US has targeted Iran-backed groups in the Middle East in the past week. The first two rounds of strikes were in response to rocket attacks on US forces in Iraq.
The escalating tensions between the US and Iran have raised concerns about the potential for a broader conflict in the Middle East. The US has been increasing its military presence in the region in response to what it perceives as a growing threat from Iran.
The US has also been pressuring its allies to take a tougher stance on Iran. The Trump administration has been pushing for the reimposition of UN sanctions on Iran, which were lifted as part of the 2015 nuclear deal.
The strikes come as the US is preparing to withdraw some of its troops from Iraq. The US has around 5,200 troops in Iraq, and the Pentagon has said it plans to reduce that number to about 3,500.
The US has said that the strikes were defensive in nature and were aimed at deterring future attacks by Iran-backed groups. However, some critics have questioned the legality of the strikes, arguing that they could escalate tensions further and potentially lead to a broader conflict in the region.