Joe Biden made no public comment about U.S. troops being injured in northern Iraq on Christmas Day in a drone attack by Iran-backed militants.
The attack against U.S. troops, claimed by Kataib Hezbollah militants, left three U.S. troops injured — one critically so.
He did, however, post on social media wishing Americans a “Happy Kwanzaa” from both his official and personal social media accounts.
Jill and I wish a very Happy Kwanzaa to all those celebrating across America and around the world.
May your homes be filled with hope, peace, and light.
And in 2024, may we carry with us the wisdom of the seven principles of Kwanzaa — especially those of unity and faith. pic.twitter.com/xud7yssnYu
— President Biden (@POTUS) December 26, 2023
To everyone celebrating, Jill and I wish you a joyous Kwanzaa.
In 2024, it’s our hope that we will all remember the wisdom of the Seven Principles of Kwanzaa, especially the values of unity and faith.
May your celebrations be filled with hope and light.
— Joe Biden (@JoeBiden) December 26, 2023
Biden then departed for a vacation to the U.S. Virgin Islands.
It is the first time a U.S. service member was critically injured in the spate of attacks against U.S. troops stationed in Iraq and Syria by Iran-backed groups since October 17.
The attacks came after the Iran-backed terrorists threatened attacks against U.S. troops if U.S.-ally Israel invaded Gaza in response to Hamas’s terrorist attack against Israel on October 7, which killed more than 1,200 people, many of them civilians.
There have been more than 100 attacks against U.S. troops to date, but Biden has ordered fewer than ten counterstrikes and has opted to hit mostly weapons and ammunition storage facilities.
After that attack that critically injured the service member, Biden ordered a counterstrike “against three locations utilized by Kataib Hezbollah and affiliated groups.”
Central Command (CENTCOM) said in a statement that early assessments indicate the strike “likely” killed a “number” of Kataib Hezbollah militants.
“Early assessments indicate that these U.S. airstrikes destroyed the targeted facilities and likely killed a number of Kataib Hezbollah militants,” CENTCOM said in a statement.
However, the Iraqi government said the U.S. strikes killed one Iraqi serviceman, wounded 18 people, and called them a “clear hostile act,” according to Reuters.
The U.S. strikes were “an unacceptable violation of Iraqi sovereignty,” a government statement said, while also criticizing attacks against bases where U.S. troops are stationed.
Two Iraqi security sources told Reuters that the U.S. strikes targeted the headquarters of the Iraqi armed group Kataib Hezbollah in the Iraqi city of Hilla south of Baghdad and that a fighter from Kataib Hezbollah was killed in the strikes, and 16 were wounded.