US strikes Iranian assets in Syria after attacks on American troops

U.S. military forces struck two facilities in eastern Syria used by Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps and affiliated terror proxies.

By Charles Bybelezer, JNS

The strikes came in response to a series of attacks this week by Iranian-backed groups against American personnel stationed in Iraq and Syria.

An American contractor died from a heart attack while sheltering during one of those attacks, and 21 U.S. soldiers were lightly injured, according to the Pentagon.

“The President [Joe Biden] has no higher priority than the safety of U.S. personnel, and he directed today’s action to make clear that the United States will not tolerate such attacks and will defend itself, its personnel, and its interests,” according to a statement by U.S. Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin.

Austin stressed that Washington “does not seek conflict and has no intention nor desire to engage in further hostilities, but these Iranian-backed attacks against U.S. forces are unacceptable and must stop.

“Iran wants to hide its hand and deny its role in these attacks against our forces. We will not let them. If attacks by Iran’s proxies against U.S. forces continue, we will not hesitate to take further necessary measures to protect our people,” added the defense chief.

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“These narrowly tailored strikes in self-defense were intended solely to protect and defend U.S. personnel in Iraq and Syria. They are separate and distinct from the ongoing conflict between Israel and Hamas, and do not constitute a shift in our approach to the Israel-Hamas conflict,” said Austin.

“We continue to urge all state and non-state entities not to take action that would escalate into a broader regional conflict,” he said.

A senior U.S. military official told the Associated Press that the precision strikes in Syria struck weapons and ammunition storage areas connected to the IRGC.

Two F-16 fighter jets carried out the airstrikes on sites near the town of Bukamal near the Iraqi border, said the official. The area is a main conduit for weapons transfers between Iran and Syria or Lebanon, via Iraq.