The US says it hit more than 85 Iran-linked targets in Syria, Iraq in retaliation for attack that killed American soldiers.
Here’s how things stand on Saturday, February 3, 2024:
- The US military says it hit more than 85 Iran-linked targets in Iraq and Syria in retaliation for the deaths of three American soldiers in a drone attack in Jordan.
- The overnight air raids killed at least 18 Iran-aligned fighters, according to the UK-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights. The death toll could not be independently verified, and US officials only said the attack resulted in causalities.
- The White House said it informed Iraq before carrying out its air raids inside the country. The Iraqi military called the attack “a violation of Iraqi sovereignty”, adding it could “lead Iraq and the region into dire consequences”.
Human impact and fighting
- Almost all of Gaza’s 1.2 million children are in need of mental health support, UNICEF said.
- The agency also said about 17,000 children in Gaza are unaccompanied or have been separated from their families during the conflict.
- More than one million displaced Palestinians fear a new Israeli military onslaught after the Israeli defence minister pledged to attack Rafah, an area once described as a “safe zone”.
- The United Nations said 112 Palestinians were killed and 148 injured between Thursday and Friday afternoon in Gaza.
- Palestinian officials said at least 27,131 people have been killed and 66,287 wounded in Israeli attacks on Gaza since October 7. The revised death toll in Israel from the October 7 Hamas attacks stands at 1,139.
- Osama Hamdan, a senior Hamas official in Beirut, said the multistage proposal that officials from Qatar, Egypt, Israel and the United States put forward this week is unacceptable because it does not include a permanent ceasefire in Gaza.
- US Secretary of State Antony Blinken will travel to Israel, the occupied West Bank, Saudi Arabia, Egypt and Qatar, and is expected to push for the release of captives held in Gaza and a pause in hostilities.
- Germany’s foreign minister warned Israel over its planned military offensive in Rafah, the dpa news agency reported.
- The US has announced new sanctions and charges targeting the Iranian Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC).
- Some 800 European and US officials have written a letter to their governments denouncing Israel’s war on Gaza as “one of the worst human catastrophes of this century”.
Occupied West Bank
- Two Palestinian men in their 20s were hospitalised after being beaten by Israeli forces during a raid near the city of Jenin in the occupied West Bank, the Wafa news agency reported.
- Israeli raids were also reported in the Balata refugee camp east of Nablus, in the towns of Rujib and Burqa in the Nablus governorate, Tubas city, northeast of Nablus, in the villages of Beit Tamar and al-Aruj, located east of Bethlehem.