…As EU leaders discuss security cooperation with NATO chief***
At least 22 Iraqi fighters, who belong to pro-Iranian militant groups, were killed in U.S. strikes in eastern Syria, a monitor group said.
The Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said that the strikes targeted three trucks of ammunition that were being moved from Iraq through an area near al-Qaim crossing into Syria’s Deir al-Zour province.
The militants killed were members of Kait’ib Hezbollah and the Hashd al-Shaabi Iraqi militia groups, the Observatory said.
The Pentagon said on Thursday that U.S. President Joe Biden had ordered an airstrike against infrastructure used by Iranian-backed militia in eastern Syria.
In another development, the 27 leaders of the European Union (EU) are shifting their focus to defence and security issues when regrouping for a second day of virtual talks on Friday.
According to official information published by the European Council, NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg is joining the videoconference for a discussion on cooperation between the bloc and the defence alliance.
The EU has been trying to coordinate more closely on defence and security matters in recent years, for example with plans to jointly fund defence development projects.
The overarching aim is greater strategic autonomy, allowing Europe to project its interests and values on a world stage where the United States seems to be pulling back as China and Russia grow more assertive
EU leaders are to hold a strategic debate on European security and defence policy, according to the European Council.
They also discuss how to increase their resilience to cyberattacks and hybrid threats, and debate relations with their southern neighbours