Biden takes military action for the 1st time in office

The military launched two warplanes in eastern Syria, by order of the president, targeting Iranian-backed militias in retaliation for a rocket strike in Iraq that left several Americans injured.
2:44 | 02/26/21

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Transcript for Biden takes military action for the 1st time in office
We begin with president Biden ordering military action for the first time since taking office. Launching air strikes against militia groups in Syria backed by Iran. Our chief global affairs anchor Martha Raddatz has the latest. Reporter: This was the first military strike of the Biden administration, payback for a recent attack in Iraq that left several American contractors and a U.S. Service member wounded and at least one contractor working for the U.S. Dead. The U.S. Military launched two warplanes into eastern Syria near the Iraqi border on the orders of president Biden who sources say chose the least lethal option targeting a cluster of buildings used by iranian-backed militias as a border control point, the same Iranian linked militias believed to be responsible for the attack on a coalition base in Iraq early last week. We know what we did and we're confident that thatarget was being used by the same shia militia that conducted the Reporter: Those militia rocket strikes slamming into that coalition base in erbil, Iraq, last week where U.S. Soldiers and contractors were housed. You can see those burned out bunks. The fire destroying the the same iranian-backed militias have launched rocket attacks against the U.S. Embassy in Baghdad and the so-called green zone surrounding it. An official telling ABC news that the retaliatory strikes by the U.S. Could have resulted in a handful of casualties. The Pentagon spokesman saying that the strike was proportional and that president Biden will act to protect American and coalition personnel, but added, at the same time, we have acted in a deliberate manner that aims to de-escalate the overall situation. This retaliatory strike has gotten bipartisan support with the house majority leader Steny Hoyer calling it a strong act that will send a message to Tehran and Republican senator Lindsey graham saying he appreciates the Biden administration's striking back at these iranian-backed militias. The Biden administration has begun to engage with Iran on their nuclear program. Any insight into how this is going to affect those possible negotiations? Reporter: Well, the administration is open to talks with Iran and while it may cause a bit of an uproar with the Iranians for a short time, it should not affect nuclear talks. Biden administration simply could not let those rocket attacks stand without a response and as we said this was the least lethal response, George. Martha Raddatz, thanks very much.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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