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US strikes in Syria and Iraq: Sky News experts explain why Biden ordered a bombing

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The United States hit 85 targets in Iraq and Syria with airstrikes in retaliation after the deaths of three American soldiers at a base in Jordan.

More than 125 “precision munitions” were fired by long-range bombers sent from the United States to three installations in Iraq and four in Syria.

Latest news in the Middle East: US launches wave of airstrikes in Iraq and Syria

US Central Command said the strikes targeted Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) Quds Force and affiliated militias.

Here’s what our experts said about the US strikes:

Michael Clarke, security analyst

“What the Americans are trying to do is come up with a broad enough set of goals, more than 85 goals, and they’ll do more. They’ve said so.

“This will be a multi-layered operation that will be sustained. It will continue.

“Many planes came from the United States, some B52s and some B1Bs.

“The B52s are considerably older than the pilots who fly them, but they still work pretty well and they will have launched quite a few missiles from the ships.

“The Tomahawk missiles, the F22s, the Super Hornets of the (USS) Eisenhower will have been involved.

“I think they will probably have done everything they can tonight to show that they can do it.

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A “new dangerous phase” began after the US strikes

Learn more:
Three American soldiers killed in Jordan
Iran threatens to respond decisively in the event of an attack

“They didn’t go looking for personnel, they deliberately warned them, so that they knew that they would have scattered and taken with them all the equipment they could, but they opted for the rest and the sites fixed.

“The message is that this is the first part and there will be more.

“The idea is that whether it will work or not we don’t know, Tehran needs to think again.”

Map shows approximate targets of US strikes

Military analyst Sean Bell

“It is not very surprising that this strike took place. What is surprising is that it took so long for it to be implemented.

“I think part of what we’re seeing here is a very, very calculated and measured response.

“America knows it faces a dilemma. It was forced to act after the deaths of these three soldiers and 40 others wounded in northern Jordan.

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US not a big surprise, says military analyst Sean Bell

“But the United States does not want to make the situation worse.

“Targeting facilities rather than populated areas sends a very clear message.

“If you want to remove (military) capabilities, it’s equipment and people. If you want to send a signal, you focus on equipment.

“The very fact that they are targeting populated areas, that they are focusing on particular military equipment, sends, I think, a very clear message without actually seeking escalation.”

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