EDITORS NOTE: Graphic content / Smoke rises following a reported Russian airstrike on the town of Maaret al-Numan in Syria's northwestern Idlib province on November 20, 2019. (Photo by Abdulaziz KETAZ / AFP)
EDITORS NOTE: Graphic content / Smoke rises following a reported Russian airstrike on the town of Maaret al-Numan in Syria's northwestern Idlib province on November 20, 2019. (Photo by Abdulaziz KETAZ / AFP)

One child was killed and three other civilians were wounded in an overnight US strike in an area in Syria's eastern province of Deir al-Zour bordering Iraq, Xinhua reported quoting Syrian Arab News Agency (SANA) on Monday.

US military aircraft have struck facilities of the Iranian-backed militants in the Syrian-Iraqi border region, the US Department of Defense said on Sunday (local time).

"At President Biden's direction, US military forces earlier this evening conducted defensive precision airstrikes against facilities used by Iran-backed militia groups in the Iraq-Syria border region. 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," the Pentagon said in a statement on late Sunday.

"Specifically, the US 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. Several Iran-backed militia groups, including Kata'ib Hezbollah (KH) and Kata'ib Sayyid al-Shuhada (KSS), used these facilities," the statement added.

Pentagon Press Secretary John Kirby in a statement said that President Biden has been clear that he will act to protect US personnel.

"Given the ongoing series of attacks by Iran-backed groups targeting U.S. interests in Iraq, the President directed further military action to disrupt and deter such attacks. We are in Iraq at the invitation of the Government of Iraq for the sole purpose of assisting the Iraqi Security Forces in their efforts to defeat ISIS," said Kirby.

The strikes were both necessary to address the threat and appropriately limited in scope, he added.

SANA further reported that around 1 am local time on Monday (2200 GMT Sunday), the United States carried out a missile strike on "residential homes" in the area of al-Bukamal in the eastern countryside of Deir al-Zour, inflicting property damage as well, as per Xinhua.

Meanwhile, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, a war monitor, said that five Iraqi militiamen with Iraq's paramilitary Hashd al-Shaabi forces were killed by the strike that targeted their positions in the border region and inside Syria.

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