The US Central Command claimed to have targeted 85 Kataib Hezbollah sites in Syria and Iraq. This action came in response to a drone attack in Jordan that resulted in the death of three US service members. The strikes have drawn condemnation from Iraqi officials. Tehran has yet to comment officially.
The White House informed Iraq before conducting the airstrikes, but the Iraqi military accused Washington of violating sovereignty. White House National Security Council spokesperson John Kirby, in a press briefing, addressed the airstrikes, which President Joe Biden launched in retaliation for the drone attack in Jordan.
The US also announced new sanctions targeting the Iranian Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC). Focused on officials in the IRGC’s cyber-electronic command and a network of Iran and Hong Kong-based suppliers, the sanctions also include charges related to an oil laundering scheme. The UK-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights reported that the US airstrikes in Syria killed at least 18 Iran-aligned fighters.
Meanwhile, Israeli forces conducted raids across the occupied West Bank, leading to the hospitalisation of two Palestinian men after alleged beatings near Jenin.
Simultaneously, the Israeli Defence Minister’s pledge to attack Rafah, previously considered a “safe zone,” has sparked fears of a new military onslaught. Over a million displaced Palestinians are on edge, and UNICEF reports that approximately 17,000 children in Gaza are unaccompanied or separated from their families.
At least 27,131 people have been killed and 66,287 wounded in Israeli attacks since 7 October.
Additional incidents involving the Israeli military include armed clashes in the Balata refugee camp, raids in Rujib and Burqa.
German Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock and UN human rights high commissioner Volker Turk have expressed deep concern about the planned Israeli military offensive in Rafah. Baerbock deems the action unjustifiable, emphasising potential harm to the vulnerable population, while Turk raises alarm about massive civilian casualties and further displacement.
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