In retaliation to a series of rocket attacks on US-led coalition bases in the last few weeks, the US military carried out airstrikes in five locations in Iraq and Syria targeting multiple weapons and munitions depots linked to Iran, on Sunday.
“In response to repeated Kata'ib Hizbollah (KH) attacks on Iraqi bases that host Operation Inherent Resolve (OIR) coalition forces, US forces have conducted precision defensive strikes against five KH facilities in Iraq and Syria that will degrade KH's ability to conduct future attacks against OIR coalition forces,” the Pentagon said in a statement.
According to the Department of Defense, Combined Joint Task Force - Operation Inherent Resolve (CJTF-OIR) was established in October 2014 “in order to formalize military actions against the rising threat posed by ISIS in Iraq and Syria.” On December 27, a 30-plus rocket attack on Iraqi military base in Kirkuk hosting Coalition troops resulted in the death of a US citizen and injured four US service members and two members of the Iraqi Security Forces (ISF).
The five targets include three KH locations in Iraq and two in Syria. These locations included weapon storage facilities and command and control locations that KH uses to plan and execute attacks on OIR coalition forces, the Pentagon said, adding that “KH has strong linkage with Iran's Quds Force and has repeatedly received lethal aid and other support from Iran that it has used to attack OIR coalition forces.”
Meanwhile, tripartite naval drills between Iran, Russia and China codenamed “Marine Security Belt” that kicked off on Friday, will be concluded on Monday.
“The epoch of the US, whose actions are aimed at sowing discord [in the region] is over. There is no need for foreign powers to be present in the region, and Iran is ready to cooperate on this matter with neighboring countries. Washington should leave the region as soon as possible,” Iranian Navy Commander Rear Admiral Hossein Khanzadi told IRNA news agency.
Syria has held the United States accountable for the December 21 drone strikes carried out at Homs oil refinery and al-Rayan Gas station. “The United States, using its illegal military base in Al-Tanf, sent unmanned aerial vehicles to Homs and carried out airstrikes on oil refining infrastructure," Syrian Foreign Minister Walid Muallem was quoted as saying by UAWire
US warplanes could fly past Russian S-400s if the frequencies of the air defense systems obtained by the US army in Syria's Khmeimim air base, are successfully deciphered. "The US army has obtained the frequencies of the Russian S-400 anti-air defense systems stationed in Syria
Russia and Turkey have both established new military bases in northern Syria. The Russian Armed Forces have evidently set up the base in the border city of Amuda in the Al Hasakah Governorate, reports Al-Masdar News
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Russia has delivered an unspecified number of T-62M main battle tanks and BRM-1K combat reconnaissance armored vehicles to the Syrian Arab Army. The newly delivered batch of T-62s are less advanced than modern T-72 tanks employed by the Syrian military,
The Israeli military bombed and destroyed a Pantsir-S air defence system (ADS) after its Syrian operator left behind a mobile phone providing a lead to the location of the ADS, a top official of the Russian manufacturer has admitted. Information of the Pantsir-S systems destruction emerged in an Israeli MoD video detailing the bombing of the system last month
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Irans Supreme Leader, Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei, has appointed deputy commander of Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC) Quds Force, Esmaeil Qa'ani, as the new commander following the assassination of Major General Qassem Soleimani in United States airstrikes. "Following the martyrdom of the glorious general Qasem Soleimani, I name Brigadier General Esmaeil Qa'ani as the commander of the Quds Force of the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps," the Leader said in a statement posted on his official website
Qasem Soleimani, the head of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC)-Quds Force, was killed in a US airstrike approved by President Trump in Baghdad in the early hours of Friday. As Trump enters an election year buoyed by improved economic data over the Obama years, the Soleimani hit may bolster his tough commander-in-chief credentials just as the Osama Bin Laden kill did to President Obama
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