MOSCOW — Russia was given about four to five minutes warning of the Biden administration’s first military action when it struck Iranian-backed militias in eastern Syria early Friday, according to Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov. But he said the warning came too late to reduce the risk of a potential clash between the two country’s forces.
U.S. officials believe the attack killed a number of alleged Iranian-linked fighters, signaling the administration’s intent to use targeted military action to push back against violence tied to Tehran.
The Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights reported Friday that 22 Iranian-backed fighters were killed when the strike at 1 a.m. local time Friday (6 p.m. Thursday in Washington) hit three truckloads of weapons crossing a border point from Iraq to Syria. It added that the death toll could rise.