The United States carried out airstrikes on Monday targeting “Iran-backed militia groups in the Iraq-Syria border region,” the Defense Department said in a statement.

“The targets were selected because these facilities are utilized by Iran-backed militias that are engaged in unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) attacks against U.S. personnel and facilities in Iraq,” it said.

“Specifically, the U.S. strikes targeted operational and weapons storage facilities at two locations in Syria and one location in Iraq, both of which lie close to the border between those countries,” the statement said.

The Defense Department also said that the move was an act of self-defense and that Iran-backed militias, including Kataib Hezbollah and Kataib Sayyid al-Shuhada, used the facilities.

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