WASHINGTON: The United States has approved plans for multi-day strikes in Iraq and Syria against multiple targets, including Iranian personnel and facilities, CBS News reported on Thursday, citing US officials.
The strikes would take place over a number of days, officials said, and weather conditions will likely dictate when they are launched, BBC reported.
President Joe Biden said on Tuesday he had made up his mind on how to respond to a drone attack in northeastern Jordan near the Syrian border this week that killed three US service members and wounded more than 40.
Biden’s top diplomat, Secretary of State Antony Blinken, said on Monday the US response “could be multi-leveled, come in stages, and be sustained over time.”
In its report, CBS did not provide details on what a US approval meant in terms of a timeline for the strikes.
The drone attack was the first deadly strike against US forces since the Israel-Gaza war erupted in October, and marked an escalation in tensions that have engulfed the Middle East.
US officials have weight how to punish Iran-backed militias without triggering a wider war.
The White House said on Wednesday that the Islamic Resistance in Iraq militia grouping was behind the weekend drone attack in Jordan.
The “attribution that our intelligence community is comfortable with is that this was done by the umbrella group” Islamic Resistance in Iraq — a coalition of Iranian-backed militias — said National Security Council spokesman John Kirby.
Kirby repeated the administration’s insistence that “we will respond in a time and in a manner of our choosing, on our schedule.”
“Just because you haven’t seen anything in the last 48 hours, it doesn’t mean that you’re not going to see anything,” he said, adding: “The first thing you see won’t be the last thing.”
One of the factions in the Islamic Resistance in Iraq grouping, Kataeb Hezbollah, announced on Tuesday that it was suspending attacks on US troops.
Kirby said “you can’t take what a group like Kataeb Hezbollah says at face value.”