May 21, 2024

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The United States launches air strikes on a site in Syria targeting a militia facility

The United States launches air strikes on a site in Syria targeting a militia facility

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WASHINGTON – The Pentagon said the United States carried out an airstrike on a weapons depot in eastern Syria used by Iranian-backed militias, in response to an increasing number of attacks on bases housing US forces in the region over the past few weeks. .

US officials said that in a strike on Wednesday, two US F-15 fighter jets dropped several bombs on a weapons storage facility near Maysloun in Deir ez-Zor that was known to be used by the Iranian Revolutionary Guard.

“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,” Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin said in a statement.

A military official told reporters in a phone call that people were seen at the warehouse during the day while the US military monitored the site for hours, but the number dropped to about “a couple” overnight when the raid occurred. The official said the strike caused secondary explosions, indicating the presence of weapons, but the United States believes no civilians were killed and that any people in the warehouse were linked to the Revolutionary Guard or militias.

A senior defense official on the call also said the strike was intended to “disable and degrade the capabilities of groups directly responsible for attacking US forces in the region” by specifically targeting facilities associated with the Revolutionary Guard. The two officials spoke on condition of anonymity to provide an assessment of the attack.

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The defense official said the precision strike was deliberate and designed to not escalate the conflict in the region. The military official said that a telephone line was used to separate US military personnel and Russian forces in Syria to inform them of the attack.

This is the second time in less than two weeks that the United States has bombed facilities used by armed groups, many of which operate under the umbrella of the Islamic Resistance in Iraq, and which US officials say have carried out at least 40 such attacks since October 17. . .

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