Biden orders strike on Iranian-aligned group after 3 US soldiers injured in drone strike in Iraq

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Joe Biden has ordered retaliatory strikes against Iran-backed militia groups after a drone strike in northern Iraq wounded three U.S. soldiers.

National Security Council spokeswoman Adrienne Watson said one of the US soldiers was seriously injured in the attack on Monday. The Iranian-backed militia Kata'ib Hezbollah and affiliated groups, under the umbrella of Iran-backed militants, took credit for the attack.

Biden, who is spending Christmas at the presidential retreat at Camp David, Maryland, was briefed on the attack on Monday and ordered the Pentagon to prepare response options.

Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin and the national security team quickly drew up plans and presented options in a call, and Biden directed strikes on three locations used by Kataib Hezbollah and affiliated groups.

The latest attack on US troops follows increasing threats and actions against US forces in the region since Hamas' attack on Israel on October 7, which sparked a devastating war in Gaza. The US has blamed Iran for escalating violence by its network of proxy groups across the region, which has funded and trained Hamas, including attacks by Yemen's Houthis against commercial and military vessels at a key shipping blockage point in the Red Sea. Attacks are also included.

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