US approves series of strikes on Iranian targets after deadly drone attack

New Delhi, Feb 1: US Officials have informed CBS News that the United States has approved a series of planned strikes on Iranian targets in Syria and Iraq, BBC reports. These strikes are expected to unfold over several days, with the timing dependent on prevailing weather conditions.

The decision to undertake these strikes follows a drone attack near the Syria border in Jordan, resulting in the death of three US soldiers on Sunday. The US attributes the attack to an Iranian-backed militant group.

The Islamic Resistance in Iraq believed to comprise multiple militias armed, funded, and trained by Iran’s Revolutionary Guards force, claimed responsibility for the strike. Iran, however, denies any involvement in the incident that also left 41 US troops injured at the military base. This was the first direct attack on the US base near the Jordan border.

In a separate development, US officials revealed that a cruise missile launched by Houthi rebels in Yemen approached within one mile of a US destroyer in the Red Sea before being intercepted.

This marks the closest a Houthi attack has come to a US warship, with previous interceptions occurring at a range of eight miles or more. The USS Gravely utilized its Close-In Weapon System (CIWS) to thwart the missile, emphasizing the ongoing threat posed by the Houthis to US naval assets and commercial shipping in the Red Sea.

The incident occurred shortly after a drone attack by Iran-backed militants resulted in the deaths of three US service members in Jordan. Defence Secretary Lloyd Austin condemned the “reckless and illegal attacks” during a bilateral meeting with his British counterpart, attributing Iran’s involvement in providing advanced weapons and support to the Houthis.

Security analysts express concern over the proximity of the Houthi missile to the US warship, highlighting the Houthis’ reliance on Iranian weapons technology.

In response to an identified imminent threat, the US Central Command reported airstrikes against an Iranian-backed Houthi drone ground control station and ten Houthi drones in Yemen. These actions aim to prevent Houthi weapons from targeting international shipping lanes and US warships in the region.

Houthi military spokesperson Yahya Sarea claimed responsibility for hitting a US-operated ship, the KOI, a statement refuted by officials. Sarea declared all American and British ships in the Red and Arabian Seas as legitimate targets as long as perceived aggression against Yemen continues. Houthi attacks on shipping in the Red Sea raise concerns about potential disruptions to the supply chain, impacting international trade in the region.

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