The U.S. military strike against Iranian proxy forces in Syria was carried out by Air Force F-15 jet fighters dropping a total of seven 500-pound laser-guided bombs, it has emerged Friday — but not all the original targets were destroyed.
The mission called for two separate compounds in Syria to be hit. However, U.S. officials tell Fox News the second target was aborted when a drone orbiting high overhead saw too many civilians on the target.
In the end, the F-15s bombed seven small buildings in eastern Syria at roughly 1 a.m. local time this morning, the first day of the weekend in the Middle East.
For perspective, Israel has launched over 200 airstrikes like this in Syria in recent years.
Officials say it’s now up to Iran to make the next move.
Iraq’s military on Friday also indicated it did not cooperate in any way with the U.S. airstrike in Syria, saying it only works with the U.S. against ISIS, according to local reports.
Yet on a flight back to Andrews Air Force Base last night from the west coast, Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin thanked Iraq for its help in the strike.
“We allowed and encouraged the Iraqis to investigate and develop intelligence and that was very helpful to us in refining the target,” he said.
The strike was the first known military action by President Biden. The Iraqi border-based Shia militia groups targeted in it — Kait’ib Hezbollah and Kait’ib Sayyid al Shuhada — are both suspected of having received funding and military support from Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard.
At least one fighter was killed, according to reports citing an Iraqi militia official. Reuters, citing local sources, also reported that at least 17 were dead, while The Associated Press quoted the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights as saying 22 fighters were killed — but neither death toll could be confirmed.
Fox News’ Jennifer Griffin and Caitlin McFall contributed to this report.