FLYING Magazine

The U.S. military deployed long-range bombers as part of a barrage of airstrikes in Iraq and Syria on Friday, targeting Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC), Quds Force, and Iranian-backed militia groups, according to U.S. Central Command (CENTCOM).

The airstrikes, which began around 4 p.m. EST, were conducted on seven facilities and employed more than 125 precision munitions. The attack comes less than a week after a one-way-attack drone struck a remote outpost in Jordan, killing three U.S. Army Reserve soldiers and injuring more than 40 others. 

“This is the start of our response,” Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin said in a statement.

“The President has directed additional actions to hold the IRGC and affiliated militias accountable for their attacks on U.S. and Coalition Forces,” he said. “These will unfold at times and places of our choosing. We do not seek conflict in the Middle East or anywhere else, but the President and I will not tolerate attacks on American forces. We will take all necessary actions to defend the United States, our forces, and our interests.” 

READ MORE: Report Cites Drone Mix-Up in Attack That Killed 3 Soldiers

“U.S. military forces struck more than 85 targets, with numerous aircraft to include long-range bombers flown from the United States,” CENTCOM said in a statement.

CENTCOM Statement on U.S. Strikes in Iraq and Syria

At 4:00 p.m. (EST) Feb. 02, U.S. Central Command (CENTCOM) forces conducted airstrikes in Iraq and Syria against Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC) Quds Force and affiliated militia groups. U.S. military forces…

— U.S. Central Command (@CENTCOM) February 2, 2024

Citing a Pentagon official, CNN reported that U.S. Air Force B-1 bombers were among the aircraft deployed to carry out the strike.

B-1B Lancers are considered the backbone of the U.S.’ long-range bomber arsenal and are capable of carrying the largest conventional payload of both guided and unguided weapons, according to the Air Force.

READ MORE: B-1Bs Relocated from Ellsworth AFB Amid Ongoing Crash Investigation

“The facilities that were struck included command and control operations centers, intelligence centers, rockets, missiles, unmanned aerial vehicle storages, and logistics and munition supply chain facilities of militia groups and their IRGC sponsors who facilitated attacks against U.S. and Coalition forces,” CENTCOM said.

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