U.S. officials have confirmed to CBS News that plans have been approved for a series of strikes over a number of days against targets — including Iranian personnel and facilities — inside Iraq and Syria. The strikes will come in response to drone and rocket attacks targeting U.S. forces in the region, including the drone attack on Sunday that killed three U.S. service members at the Tower 22 base inside Jordan, near the Syrian border.
Weather will be a major factor in the timing of the strikes, the officials told CBS News, as the U.S. has the capability to carry out strikes in bad weather but prefers to have better visibility of selected targets as a safeguard against inadvertently hitting civilians who might stray into the area at the last moment.
There have been no new attacks on U.S. troop locations in the region since the Iran-backed militia Kataib Hezbollah announced Wednesday that it was suspending military operations against American forces. There was no indication from U.S. officials that the group’s declared suspension was delaying the American military’s retaliatory strikes.
A number of Iran-backed groups in the Middle East have stepped up attacks on U.S. and Israeli-linked entities amid Israel’swith . The Palestinian militant group, which has controlled the Gaza Strip for years, sparked the war with its brutal Oct. 7 terror attack on Israel, which Israeli officials say killed some 1,200 people.
Israel has waged a devastating offensive in Gaza since that day, which officials in the Hamas-run enclave say has killed more than 26,000 people, the majority of them women and children. Israel insists that it takes all possible measures to avoid harming civilians, but has vowed to continue its offensive until Hamas is destroyed.
Iran is a vital backer of Hamas, and the many other groups it supports across the region, including thewho have attacked ships in the Red Sea and Gulf of Aden, and Hezbollah in Lebanon, which has engaged in regular cross-border fire with Israeli forces, say they are attacking Western interests in support of the Palestinian people.
U.S. officials told CBS News that another drone was shot down overnight over the Gulf of Aden, while an explosive sea drone was destroyed in the Red Sea.
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