The U.S. military has conducted defensive precision airstrikes against three facilities near the Iraq-Syria border region Sunday evening. According to Pentagon Press Secretary John Kirby, the facilities are used by several Iran-backed militia groups engaged in unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) attacks against U.S. personnel and facilities in Iraq, including Kata’ib Hezbollah (KH) and Kata’ib Sayyid al-Shuhada (KSS).”As demonstrated by this evening’s strikes, President Biden has been clear that he will act to protect U.S. personnel. Given the ongoing series of attacks by Iran-backed groups targeting U.S. interests in Iraq, the President directed further military action to disrupt and deter such attacks,” Kirby added. “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.”CLICK HERE TO GET THE FOX NEWS APPA U.S. defense official with knowledge of the strikes told Fox News that US Air Force F-15s and F-16s were used in the operation. The strikes took place at approximately 6 p.m. Eastern Time, or 1 a.m. local time.At least one facility used by Iran’s militia forces to launch and recover drones was destroyed, the official added. Recent strikes by the crude drones have targeted Americans in Baghdad and Erbil in northern Iraq. The official said he does not expect “a lot of casualties” from the Iranian-backed forces because of the time of the strike. All U.S. jets returned to base without a problem, the official added. Sunday’s airstrikes are the latest operation carried out against Iranian-backed military groups, following President Biden’s first known military action in February, when an airstrike targeted a compound in Syria operated by Kait’ib Hezbollah and Kait’ib Sayyid al Shuhada.
The U.S. military has launched two drone strikes against Taliban positions in northern Afghanistan, a U.S. defense official told Fox News on Friday. The strikes came hours before Afghan President Ashraf Ghani is set to meet President Biden at the White House Friday afternoon. An unknown number of Taliban fighters were killed in Baghlan and Kunduz provinces, where the strikes took place.
Taliban fighters react to a speech by their senior leader in the Shindand district of Herat province, Afghanistan, in 2016.
(AP)SECURITY OFFICIALS PREPARE TO EVACUATE AFGHAN ALLIES AS US TROOPS WITHDRAW Three more districts fell to the Taliban overnight.Meanwhile, Afghan forces took back six other districts elsewhere in the country in the past 24 hours, according to TOLO News in Kabul. Some U.S. officials think Kabul could fall to the Taliban in a matter of months after American forces withdraw. The U.S. military is preparing to pull most of its remaining forces from Afghanistan in the coming weeks, well ahead of the 9/11 deadline announced by President Biden. The U.S. government is also scrambling to evacuate thousands of Afghan interpreters and their families “before we complete our military drawdown,” a senior administration official told Fox News on Thursday. US TO LEAVE 650 TROOPS IN AFGHANISTAN TO PROTECT AIRPORT, EMBASSY Pentagon spokesman John Kirby said the details surrounding the evacuations and relocations are not yet set in stone. “We just don’t know, it will be done on a case by case basis,” he said in answer to questions on where the Afghan allies will be sent. Kirby said the State Department is taking the lead on safely relocating translators and Afghanis that assisted the U.S. during the nation’s 20-year long war in the Middle East. “It’s going to take a whole inter-agency effort to do this,” the Pentagon spokesman said, adding the Departments of Defense and Homeland Security will play a role in assisting mass evacuations. But lawmakers say time is running out to complete the evacuation. CLICK HERE TO GET THE FOX NEWS APP The top Republican on the House Foreign Affairs Committee, Michael McCaul, is predicting that “you’re going to see a major humanitarian refugee crisis.” The USS Ronald Reagan is now in Middle East to provide air support for U.S. military withdrawal from Afghanistan, along with two other warships, while the aircraft carrier Dwight D. Eisenhower is headed home. Officials say Ike should be back in Norfolk, Va. ahead of Independence Day on July 4. Fox News’ Caitlin McFall contributed to this report.