‘If you harm an American, we will respond’: Biden warns militias in the Middle East and says the next strikes will be at a ‘time and place of our choosing’ after hitting 85 targets with 125 bombs in Iraq and Syria

President Joe Biden addressed the US military strikes that hit militia targets inside Iraq and Syria – signaling that more displays of military force were on the way.

The president began by referring to his attendance at the dignified handover ceremony for three US troops killed in the drone strike in Jordan, before briefly describing the complex airstrike the US orchestrated in response days later.

“Our response began today. It will continue at times and places of our choosing,’ Biden said, in just the latest instance of language telegraphing a sustained response.

The White House issued the statement while the president was at his home in Wilmington, Delaware, after attending the ceremony at Dover Air Force Base.

“Our response began today. It will continue at times and places of our choosing,” President Joe Biden said in a written statement after the US launched strikes on militia targets in Iraq and Syria.

“This past Sunday, three American soldiers were killed in Jordan by a drone launched by militant groups backed by Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC). “Earlier today, I attended the dignified return of these brave Americans at Dover Air Force Base, and I spoke with each of their families,” Biden began.

“This afternoon, at my direction, US military forces struck targets at facilities in Iraq and Syria that the IRGC and affiliated militias use to attack US forces,” he said.

Amid concerns about the escalation of a larger war and warnings from Tehran, Biden said that “The United States does not seek conflict in the Middle East or anywhere else in the world.” But let everyone who might try to harm us know this: If you harm an American, we will respond.’

Lt.-Gen. Arthur Sims, director of operations for the Joint Staff at the Pentagon, told reporters during a national security briefing on Friday night that the US had hit 85 targets, relying on B-1 aircraft sent from within the continental United States is.

“It was designed around the weather when we had our best event related to the weather.”

Lt.-Gen.  Arthur Sims, director of operations for the Joint Staff at the Pentagon, told reporters on a national security conference call Friday night that the US had hit 85 targets.

Lt.-Gen. Arthur Sims, director of operations for the Joint Staff at the Pentagon, told reporters on a national security conference call Friday night that the US had hit 85 targets.

“We made these strikes tonight with the idea that there would likely be casualties with people located inside those facilities,” he said.

He said targets would impact their ability to carry out future attacks against Americans.’

John Kirby, spokesman for national security, said Biden was kept informed of the operation throughout the afternoon.

Kirby said targets were ‘carefully chosen to avoid civilian casualties.’

He said there was ‘clear irrefutable evidence linking (the targets) to attacks’.

The targets “were carefully selected as facilities that we knew were involved and used by the IRGC and these militant groups in attacks against US personnel,” he said.

There had been “no communication” with Iran since the drone strike in Jordan, he said, although the White House clearly hoped the attacks would not draw an escalation from Tehran.

“We are not looking for a target with Iran,” Kirby said when asked why targets inside Iran were not chosen. Instead, the targets supported by the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps outside Iran were chosen.

Kirby cited the weather and other factors for why the strikes were carried out on Friday. “It has no connection – whatsoever – with the timing of the dignified transfer today at Dover Air Force Base,” he said.

“The attacks must stop,” Kirby said, referring to repeated attacks on US troops and interests overseas since Israel began its war against Hamas. ‘These answers started tonight. They’re not going to end tonight.’

The comments from the White House and the military came after the US launched a devastating wave of airstrikes against Iran’s Revolutionary Guard in Iraq and Syria in retaliation for the drone strike that killed three US troops.

Several long-range bombers and drones hit 85 targets with 125 bombs in the widespread military operation on Friday night.

Two two B-1 bombers flew from the US for the mission to hit various targets linked to the IRGC and Iran-backed militias, including command and intelligence centers and areas where rockets, missiles and drones are stored.

The major operation is the first of the US to strike back after Iran-backed militias’ deadly attack on the Tower 22 base near Jordan’s border with Syria and Iraq last Sunday.

Sgt. William Jerome Rivers, 46, Specialist Kennedy Ladon Sanders, 24, and Specialist Breonna Moffett, 23, were killed and dozens of troops were injured in the attack that raised further tensions in the Middle East.

President Joe Biden ordered the strikes just hours after attending the dignified transfer ceremony for their remains at Dover Air Force Base.

Biden mentioned that he attended the dignified transfer of the remains of Army Reserve Sergeant William Rivers, Kennedy Sanders and Breonna Moffett, three US service members who were killed in Jordan during a drone attack.

Biden mentioned that he attended the dignified transfer of the remains of Army Reserve Sergeant William Rivers, Kennedy Sanders and Breonna Moffett, three US service members who were killed in Jordan during a drone strike.

Sgt.  William Jerome Rivers, 46, of Carrollton, Georgia was killed in the drone attack on a US air base in Jordan

Kennedy Ladon Sanders (24) was one of three American soldiers killed in the drone strike

Sgt. William Jerome Rivers, 46, of Carrollton, Georgia (left) and Specialist Kennedy Ladon Sanders, 24, were killed in the drone attack on a US air base in Jordan

He held his hand over his heart as he watched their flag-draped coffins being carried across the tarmac after they arrived back on home soil.

A short time after the solemn ceremony was completed, he authorized the great reaction which he had been threatening for days.

“This past Sunday, three American soldiers were killed in Jordan by a drone launched by militant groups backed by Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC),” Biden said Friday.

“I attended the dignified return of these brave Americans at Dover Air Force Base earlier today, and I spoke with each of their families.

“This afternoon, at my direction, US military forces struck targets at facilities in Iraq and Syria that the IRGC and affiliated militias use to attack US forces.

“Our response began today. It will continue at times and places of our choosing. The United States does not seek conflict in the Middle East or anywhere else in the world.

“But let everyone who might try to harm us know this: If you harm an American, we will respond.”

It is unclear what the next steps will be or when they will take place, or whether the days of US warnings have sent militia members into hiding.

But the recent statement released by Kataeb Hezbollah, one of the main Iran-backed militias, saying it was suspending attacks on US troops has no impact on the administration’s plans to retaliate.

National Security Adviser John Kirby said the response to the deadly drone strike would be ‘layered’ and could ‘possibly include multiple actions over a period of time’.

Specialist Breonna Moffett, 23, of Savannah, Georgia, has been identified as one of the soldiers killed in the weekend drone strike

Specialist Breonna Moffett, 23, of Savannah, Georgia has been identified as one of the soldiers killed in the drone strike

The attacks come nearly a week after the attack by Iran-backed militias on the Tower 22 base near Jordan's border with Syria and Iraq

The attacks come nearly a week after the attack by Iran-backed militias on the Tower 22 base near Jordan’s border with Syria and Iraq

“At 4:00 p.m. (EST) February 2, US Central Command (CENTCOM) forces conducted airstrikes in Iraq and Syria against Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) Quds Force and affiliated militia groups,” US Central Command said in a statement. statement said.

US military forces hit more than 85 targets, with numerous aircraft to include long-range bombers flown from the United States.

‘The airstrikes used more than 125 precision munitions.

“The facilities hit include command and control operations, centers, intelligence centers, rocket and missile, and unmanned aerial vehicle depots, and logistics and ammunition supply chain facilities of militia groups and their IRGC sponsors that facilitated attacks against US and coalition forces.” .’