New Air Strikes Avenge Drone Strikes against U.S. Forces

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The Pentagon says it carried out airstrikes against Iran-backed militia groups in the border region between Iraq and Syria on Sunday 27 June. The strikes come as Iran has been holding talks with world powers, including the U.S., about reviving a 2015 nuclear deal, which lifted sanctions against Iran in exchange for stopping some nuclear work. Reuters reports that the U.S. has carried out air strikes against Iran-backed militia groups in the Iraq-Syria border region on Sunday 27 June. The Pentagon said the strikes hit operational and weapons-storage facilities, in response to drone attacks on U.S. forces. About 2,500 U.S. troops are based in the country as part of an international coalition fighting the Islamic State jihadist group. U.S. forces based in Iraq have been targeted several times in recent months by drone attacks. Iran has denied any involvement. According to the Pentagon, the "defensive precision air strikes" hit two targets in Syria and one in Iraq. It said several Iran-backed militia groups, including Kataib Hezbollah and Kataib Sayyid al-Shuhada, used these facilities. A monitoring group reported that five militia fighters were killed and several more fighters were wounded in Syria, in what it called an attack by U.S. warplanes. Iran's influence over Iraq's internal affairs has grown steadily since the U.S.-led invasion that toppled Saddam Hussein in 2003.

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