Geopolitical Insights

Academy SITREP – U.S. Commences Retaliatory Strikes on Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps and Affiliated Groups in Syria and Iraq

February 2, 2024

What has Happened:

  • A short time ago, the U.S. conducted strikes in Syria and Iraq in retaliation for the deadly attack that killed three U.S. troops on a U.S. base in Jordan last weekend.
  • Dozens of other American troops were wounded in the drone attack on the Tower 22 base near Jordan’s border with Iraq and Syria.
  • On Wednesday the White House announced that the umbrella group of militants called “Islamic Resistance in Iraq” was responsible for the drone attack in Jordan.
  • Targets included facilities and personnel associated with Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps and the strikes were conducted with aircraft including the B-1 bomber, which flew from the United States.
  • According to U.S. Central Command, 85 targets were hit with more than 125 precision munitions and the facilities that were struck included command and control operations centers, intelligence centers, rockets, missiles, unmanned aerial vehicle storages, and logistics and munition supply chain facilities.
  • These strikes, which will likely come in waves, will be more significant than previous attacks on Iranian-backed militias over the last several weeks.
  • Iran-backed militants have targeted U.S. military facilities in Iraq and Syria over 160 times since the war between Israel and Hamas began in October.

Why it Matters:

“President Teddy Roosevelt famously said, “Speak softly and carry a big stick.” President Biden and Secretary of Defense Austin certainly did not speak softly in the run-up to today’s U.S. attacks in Iraq and Syria. We must now wait to see how much of its “big stick” the U.S. Central Command uses in the coming days. It took five days for the U.S. to conduct the retaliatory strikes, and the timing may be tied to today’s dignified transfer of our three U.S. service members. The strikes were focused on Iranian-backed Shia militia groups, and the timing certainly gave those groups (and any IRGC support personnel) time to evacuate the target areas. Iran continues supplying the weapons to the proxies that are used in these attacks against U.S. forces. If the administration is concerned with escalating to a hot war with Iran and does not want to attack Iran itself, they should at least put a strangle-hold on Iranian oil sales. President Biden must make this painful enough to Iran to get them to back their proxy forces off.” General Robert Walsh


“These strikes included a significant number of targets and weapons used by the United States. Interesting that the B-1 was used because flying directly from the U.S. provides an additional layer of surprise. Hopefully this sends a message to Iran and the IRGC that it is not in their best interest to continue supporting attacks against U.S. forces. Hard to tell at this point what IRGC leadership personnel were targeted.” General David Deptula


“The strikes were well coordinated against a set of targets focused on the IRGC Quds Force, the major trainer and supplier to the other proxies. The targets hit all facets of command and control, supply points, launch locations, and missile/UAV storage locations. We will see an analysis of battle damage and follow-up strikes to ensure that we achieved the desired effects. This included our full complement of capabilities such as aircraft launching from the U.S. directly to targets in the AOR. As expected, this was an increase in scale and scope, and a strike against the Iranian IRGC Quds Force, not just the proxies they support. This is more than just a single targeting effort; I am sure that there will be more in the next few days.” General Frank Kearney