According to officials, the airstrike was carried out on Thursday and hit a structure belonging to an Iran-backed militia. The sources also told Reuters that US President Joe Biden authorized the strike in Syria.
Another official, speaking to POLITICO, said the strike was intended to damage the militia group’s ability to conduct future attacks.
It comes as an apparent response to three separate rocket strikes against US soldiers stationed in Iraq.
Last week, an Iran-backed militia Awliyaa al-Dam, claimed responsibility for an attack on a US airbase in Iraq.
Rockets were fired at the airbase hosting US troops in Erbil, killing a contractor and leaving nine others injured.
Mr Biden had previously indicated the US will seek to restart their nuclear deal with Iran, after previous President Donald Trump walked away from the agreement in 2018.
The 2015 Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, signed by the US and Iran along with five other world powers, limited Tehran’s uranium enrichment to 3.67 percent.
However, the US President had insisted he would not re-enter talks with Iran unless they agree to reimpose limits and restrictions.
US National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan said to CBS this week: “It is Iran that is isolated diplomatically now, not the United States, and the ball is in their court.”
It follows the United Nations stating Iran carried out multiple human rights violations last year, when Tehran’s military shot down Ukraine International Airlines Flight 752 on January 8 2020.
The Islamic Revolutionary Guard killed 176 people by downing the plane, and admitted they had mistaken it for a missile.
The attack followed the US carrying out an airstrike on Iranian General Qassem Soleimani, a top military official, which sparked outrage in Tehran to Washington.
Agnes Callamard, UN Special Rapporteur on extrajudicial, summary or arbitrary executions, said in a letter sent two months ago but published Tuesday: “The inconsistencies in the official explanations seem designed to create a maximum of confusion and a minimum of clarity.”
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