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I wish to report, on behalf of my Government, that the United States, in the exercise of its inherent right of self-defense, as reflected in Article 51 of the Charter of the United Nations, has undertaken targeted strikes against facilities at two locations in Syria and one location in Iraq near the Iraq-Syria border. These facilities were used by Iran-backed militia groups that have been involved in a series of unmanned aerial vehicle and rocket attacks against United States personnel and facilities in Iraq. This letter supplements prior letters provided to the Council, including on 27 February 2021, which further explain the basis for such actions in self-defense against these ongoing attacks.

These militia attacks have escalated in recent months. Recent rocket attacks have included ones on Balad Air Base on 4 April, 18 April and 3 May 2021; the Baghdad Diplomatic Support Center near Baghdad International Airport on 2 May 2021; and Al-Asad Air Base on 4 May and 24 May 2021. Recent unmanned aerial vehicle attacks have included ones on United States facilities in Erbil on 14 April 2021; Al-Asad Air Base on 8 May 2021; Bashur Air Base on 10 May 2021; and United States facilities near Baghdad International Airport on 9 June 2021. These attacks have injured and threatened the lives of United States and Coalition personnel. Additional unmanned aerial vehicle attacks have been attempted.

In response to these attacks, the United States has taken military action in order to protect and defend the safety of its personnel, to degrade and disrupt the ongoing series of attacks against the United States and its partners, and to deter the Islamic Republic of Iran and Iran-backed militia groups from conducting or supporting further attacks on United States personnel or facilities. In support of these aims, these necessary and proportionate actions were directed at facilities used by groups involved in these ongoing attacks for weapons storage, command, logistics and unmanned aerial vehicle operations. This military response was taken after non-military options proved inadequate to address the threat, with the aim of de-escalating the situation and preventing further attacks. It was conducted together with diplomatic measures, including consultation with Coalition partners.

The United States remains prepared to use necessary and proportionate force in self-defense in response to future threats or attacks.

I request that you circulate the present letter as a document of the Security Council.