US military conducts airstrikes targeting Iran-backed militias in Syria, Iraq

WASHINGTON, DC - JUNE 25: U.S. President Joe Biden walks across the South Lawn as he departs the White House on June 25, 2021 in Washington, DC. Biden is scheduled to spend the weekend at Camp David. (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

The U.S. military, under the direction of President Joe Biden, conducted airstrikes Sunday against what it said were "facilities used by Iran-backed militia groups" near the border between Iraq and Syria.

Pentagon Press Secretary John Kirby said the militias were using the facilities to launch unmanned aerial vehicle attacks against U.S. troops in Iraq.

Kirby said the U.S. military targeted three operational and weapons storage facilities — two in Syria and one in Iraq.

He described the airstrikes as "defensive," saying they were launched in response to an "ongoing series of attacks by Iran-backed groups targeting U.S. interests in Iraq."

"The United States took necessary, appropriate, and deliberate action designed to limit the risk of escalation — but also to send a clear and unambiguous deterrent message," Kirby said.