Washington: The US military carried out an airstrike on a facility in eastern Syria used by Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) and groups backed by Tehran, the Defense Department said in a statement.
In the statement issued on Wednesday, Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin said the “self-defense strike” was conducted earlier in the day on the direction of President Joe Biden.
“This strike was conducted by two US F-15s against a weapons storage facility. This precision self-defense strike is a response to a series of attacks against US personnel in Iraq and Syria by IRGC-Quds Force affiliates,” Austin said.
“This precision self-defense strike is a response to a series of attacks against US personnel in Iraq and Syria by IRGC-Quds Force affiliates. The President has no higher priority than the safety of US personnel, and he directed today’s action to make clear that the US will defend itself, its personnel, and its interests,” he added.
Austin also warned that the US “is fully prepared to take further necessary measures to protect our people and our facilities”.
“We urge against any escalation. US personnel will continue to conduct counter-ISI missions in Iraq and Syria.”
Wednesday’s strike is the second time the US has hit facilities used by Iran-backed groups in response to the nearly daily attacks on American forces in Iraq and Syria, which have escalated especially since the Israel-Hamas war began on October 7.
On October 26, a US F-15 and two F-16s used precision-guided munitions to strike two facilities linked to Iran-backed militias in eastern Syria, reports CNN.
Since October 17, US and coalition forces have been targeted at least 41 times by one-way attack drones or rocket attacks.
More than 40 troops sustained minor injuries in attacks before the US’ strike on October 26, including at least 20 traumatic brain injuries. IANS