OAN Roy Francis
UPDATED 8:00 AM – Friday, March 24, 2023
Iranian-backed forces launched around seven rockets at a United States base in Northeast Syria on Friday, in retaliation to the airstrikes that were conducted by the U.S. forces according to Fox News.
Initial reports suggest that there were no U.S. casualties and no damage to the targeted base near the Al-Omar oil field in the most recent attack.
The attack comes after the U.S. military conducted several airstrikes on Thursday in retaliation for a drone strike carried out by Iranian forces that had targeted a coalition base in Syria, which had left one American dead.
The Defense Department said that Iran’s Revolutionary Guard Corps had crashed an Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) into a building near Hasakah on Thursday afternoon. The attacked had left one American contractor dead, five U.S. soldiers and a second U.S. contractor wounded.
The Pentagon said that they had launched retaliatory airstrikes targeting facilities that are utilized by groups associated with Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps. One of the strikes, at an arms depot in Harabesh in the city of Deir el-Zour, had left six Iranian-backed fighters dead, while another strike near Mayadeen killed another two.
U.S. Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin said that the airstrikes were conducted as a response to the attack on Thursday as well as recent attacks that have targeted the coalition forces in Syria. Iran has launched around 78 attacks on U.S. forces in Syria since January 2021.
“At the direction of President Biden, I authorized U.S. Central Command forces to conduct precision airstrikes tonight in eastern Syria against facilities used by groups affiliated with Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC),” he said. “The airstrikes were conducted in response to today’s attack as well as a series of recent attacks against Coalition forces in Syria by groups affiliated with the IRGC. As President Biden has made clear, we will take all necessary measures to defend our people and will always respond at a time and place of our choosing. No group will strike our troops with impunity.”
CENTCOM Commander, General Michael Kurilla, said that the U.S. will retaliate against any attacks on U.S. personnel, and that all necessary measures will be taken to “defend our people.”
“This evening, we responded to an attack on our forces that killed an American contractor and wounded our troops and another American contractor by striking facilities used by groups affiliated with Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps. This was another in a series of attacks on our troops and partner forces,” Kurilla said. “We will always take all necessary measures to defend our people and will always respond at a time and place of our choosing. We are postured for scalable options in the face of any additional Iranian attacks. The thoughts and prayers of US Central Command are with the Family of our contractor killed and with our wounded servicemembers and contractor. Our troops remain in Syria to ensure the enduring defeat of ISIS, which benefits the security and stability of not only Syria but the entire region.”
Three of the U.S. service members who had been wounded in the UAV attack, along with the contractor were medically evacuated to be treated at medical facilities in Iraq. The other two service members were treated on site.
The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, a war monitoring group, said that the airstrikes carried out by the U.S. had reportedly killed a total of eight Iranian-backed fighters in Syria. The Observatory had also reported an unconfirmed third strike near the town of Boukamal on the border with Iraq.
The group also said that the number of fatalities as a result of the strikes is expected to rise.
“The number of fatalities is expected to rise, as the strikes left several militiamen injured, some seriously,” the Observatory group said.
The United States currently has around 900 military personnel in Syria.
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