The Pentagon said the US military strikes in eastern Syria were a message to Iran and its Tehran-backed militias that targeted US troops this month and several other times over the past year. .
Colin Kahl, Undersecretary of Defense for Policy, told reporters that overnight US air strikes on facilities used by militias backed by Iran’s paramilitary Revolutionary Guards demonstrated that “the United States will not hesitate to defend itself against Iranian and Iranian-backed aggression when it occurs.”
He said the US decision to conduct airstrikes was based both on the nature of the August 15 militia attack at al-Tanf Garrison prison, where the US military is stationed in the south, and the actual implementation of the attack. The fact is that based on recovered drone parts, “we believe we have dead Iran for attribution rights.”
Hours after the US airstrike, two US military sites in northeastern Syria near major oil and gas fields were hit by missiles. According to US Central Command, the missiles hit near Green Village and the Conoco gas field in Deir el-Zour. One US soldier has been treated for minor injuries and has returned to active duty, and two others are being evaluated for minor injuries. CENTCOM said US forces responded by destroying three vehicles and equipment used to launch some of the missiles, killing “two or three suspected Iranian-backed fighters.”
Following the opposition war, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights and Deir Ezzor 24 reported that US airstrikes targeted Camp Ayash run by the Fatimiyoun group of Shiite fighters from Afghanistan. The war watchdog reported that at least six Syrian and foreign fighters were killed in the airstrikes, while Deir Ezzor 24 reported 10 deaths.
Deir el-Zour is a strategic province bordering Iraq and has oil fields. Iran-backed militia groups and Syrian forces control the area and have often been the target of Israeli warplanes in previous airstrikes.
In Iran, Foreign Ministry spokesman Nasser Kanaani issued a statement condemning the US attack “against the people and infrastructure of Syria.” He denied Iran had any links to the targeted targets.
Iran often refuses to arm militia groups targeting US forces in the region, despite weapons linking back to them.
Kahl said the US emphasizes that while the US continues to pursue negotiations with Iran to resume compliance with the 2015 nuclear deal, those negotiations are completely unrelated to the US’ willingness to resist. when attacked.
“The threats they engage against against our people in the region or elsewhere, have nothing to do with wherever we ended the nuclear deal,” Kahl said. “It really has nothing to do with our readiness and determination to defend ourselves. And I think last night’s attack was pretty clear to the Iranians that these are all going in different directions. .”
CENTCOM said the US strikes “taken proportionate, deliberate action to limit the risk of escalation and minimize the risk of casualties.” It did not identify targets or give any casualty figures from the airstrikes, which the military said was at the behest of President Joe Biden.
“Today’s attacks are necessary to protect and protect US personnel,” Central Command spokesman Colonel Joe Buccino said in a statement.
Kahl said the coordinated militia attack on two US facilities in al-Tanf around the same time this month raised concerns that “Iran intends to do more of this, and we want to be invincible.” disable them in any opinion that it’s a good idea”.
He said the US initially identified 11 bunker targets at the site and eventually hit nine because there was evidence of possible human proximity to two of the locations and the target was non-injurious. death.
The US Treasury Department said that the Fatimiyoun group had fought many battles in Syria, and was led by the elite Quds Force of Iran’s Revolutionary Guard.
Deir Ezzor 24 CEO Omar Abu Layla told The Associated Press: “The Ayash warehouse is a very important warehouse for the Iranian militia. “We hope that Iran will respond, in al-Tanf or maybe in Iraq.”
During the August 15 attack, drones believed to be operated by Iran-backed militias targeted the al-Tanf Prison used by US forces. Central Command described the attack as “no casualties and no damage” at the time.
The Syrian state media did not immediately acknowledge the airstrikes on Deir el-Zour.
US forces entered Syria in 2015, supporting allied forces in their fight against the Islamic State group.