Joshua Roberts – Reuters – Archive
The Pentagon is seen from the air in Washington on March 3, 2022.
Two US F-15 aircraft launched an air strike on a weapons storage facility in the east of the country Syria The Pentagon announced on Wednesday that the Iranian Revolutionary Guard and its affiliated groups are using it.
“This precise self-defense strike is a response to a series of attacks against American personnel in Iraq and Syria by affiliates of the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps’ Quds Force,” Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin said in a statement. He added: “The President has no higher priority than the safety of American personnel, and he directed today’s action to make clear that the United States will defend itself, its personnel, and its interests.”
He added, “The United States is fully prepared to take further necessary measures to protect our people and our facilities.” We urge against any escalation.”
A senior military official said on Wednesday evening that the facility, located in Maysloun in Deir ez-Zor, Syria, is believed to contain weapons used in “several airstrikes that occurred against our forces here in the region.”
“We have been monitoring it for some time to make sure that when we hit the target, we will hit it at a time when we will be able to prevent the facility from being used by the IRGC. … I watched the engagement, and I can tell you that we are certain that there will be some secondary explosions that indicate The facility contained weapons that we believe were likely used in many of the strikes that occurred against our forces here in the region,” the official said.
The official added that they are “absolutely certain” that Wednesday’s strike “did not result in civilian casualties.”
The official said that the United States “has already used the line of deconfliction” with Russia. The United States speaks with Russia regularly about the line of deconfliction regarding military operations in Syria.
The US strike is the second time the United States has struck facilities used by Iranian-backed groups in response to near-daily attacks by Iranian proxies on US forces in Iraq and Syria. On October 26, a US F-15 and two F-16 aircraft used precision-guided munitions Two facilities were bombed Associated with Iranian-backed militias in eastern Syria.
01:01- Source: CNN
The retired colonel talks about the messages that the United States sends to Iran in the first strike
US and coalition forces have been targeted at least 41 times since October 17 by drone or missile attacks in one direction – most recently a multi-missile attack on US and coalition forces in Shaddadi, Syria.
Wednesday’s attack did not result in casualties or damage to infrastructure, according to a US official.
More than 40 soldiers He suffered minor injuries in attacks leading up to the US raid on October 26, including at least 20 brain injuries.
A senior defense official said Wednesday’s strike was intended to convey “a clear message to Iran that we hold it responsible for attacks on American forces,” and that the United States expects Iran “to take action to direct its proxies to stop.”
“In light of the increasing tensions resulting from the ongoing conflict between Israel and Hamas, we have taken additional measures to communicate directly with Iran, Iranian-aligned groups in Iraq and Lebanon, and our regional partners,” the defense official said. “We aim to make clear that our military actions do not indicate a change in our approach to the conflict between Israel and Hamas, and we have no intention of escalating the conflict in the region. “Our commitment to self-defense and the protection of American personnel remains unchanged.”
The American strike came on the same day as an American MQ-9 Reaper drone It was dropped Off the coast of Yemen by Iranian-backed Houthi forces. US Central Command is investigating the incident.
CNN Previously mentioned Iranian-backed groups plan to increase their attacks on US forces in the Middle East as Iran seeks to capitalize on the violent reaction in the region to US support for Israel following the brutal attack by Hamas on October 7.
Since October 7, increasingly frequent attacks by American forces in the American region Sent great firepower To the Middle East as a deterrent to expanding the conflict between Israel and Hamas, and in support of forces in the region.
Among the deployed capabilities are two aircraft carrier strike groups, each employing thousands of sailors and several guided missile destroyers; Various aircraft including F-15 and F-16 fighters; and about 1,200 troops, including those associated with Patriot batteries and high altitude area defense (THAAD) batteries.
A senior defense official said on Wednesday that the United States had reinforced its bases in the region “with additional Patriot batteries and increased defensive counter air patrols to further deter attacks and defend our forces.”
This story has been updated with additional details.
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