US approves strikes against Iranian targets in Iraq, Syria: CBS

A warplane that took part in the first joint US-UK strike against the Houthis on 11 January, 2024UK Ministry of Defence

The United States has approved plans for multi-day strikes in Iraq and Syria against multiple targets, including Iranian personnel and facilities, CBS News reported on Thursday, citing US officials.

President Joe Biden said on Tuesday he had made up his mind on how to respond to a drone attack in northeastern Jordan near the Syrian border this week that killed three US service members and wounded more than 40. The US blamed the drone attack on Iran-backed militants.

Biden's top diplomat, Secretary of State Antony Blinken, said on Monday the US response "could be multi-leveled, come in stages, and be sustained over time."

In its report, CBS did not provide details on what a US approval meant in terms of a timeline for the strikes.

The drone attack was the first deadly strike against US forces since the Israel-Gaza war erupted in October, and marked an escalation in tensions that have engulfed the Middle East.

US officials have weight how to punish Iran-backed militias without triggering a wider war.