Retaliation exploded in northeast Syria after an American contractor was killed and five U.S. service members were wounded in a drone attack on an American military base on Thursday.
First, in retaliation, the United States launched airstrikes against what it said were facilities aligned with Iran, according to CNN.
In response to that attack, rockets were fired at an American base near the Syrian city of Der el-Zour on Friday, according to CBS. Although multiple rockets were fired, no casualties were reported as of Friday morning.
The initial suicide drone attack on a maintenance facility at a base near Hasakah left one contractor injured in addition to the contractor who was killed and the five U.S. service members who were wounded, the Department of Defense said Thursday in a statement.
Two wounded service members were treated at the base; the others who were wounded were evacuated to Iraq for treatment.
The release said that after U.S. officials identified the drone to be Iranian, it took “proportionate and deliberate action intended to limit the risk of escalation and minimize casualties.”
“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,” Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin said.
“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.
“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,” he said.
The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said U.S. airstrikes killed eight pro-Iran fighters, according to The New York Times.
Rami Abdurrahman, director of the group, said a weapons depot in Deir Ezzor, was hit, killing six fighters, while strikes in the desert of Mayadeen and near Bukamal killed two more fighters.
Gen. Michael “Erik” Kurilla, commander of US Central Command, said the United States is ready to respond further, according to CNN.
“We are postured for scalable options in the face of any additional Iranian attacks,” Kurilla said in a statement.
The US maintains approximately 900 troops in Syria, according to CNN.
A drone strike in Syria that killed a U.S. contractor and injured five troops and a contractor yesterday is part of a series of recent attacks.
Publicly announced attacks against U.S. forces in Syria show at least 9 such strikes since since August, with now 1 dead and 11 injured pic.twitter.com/3Uqzh6REvA
— J.p. Lawrence (@JpLawrence3) March 24, 2023
Kurilla said U.S. troops in the Middle East come under attack from Iranian proxies about once every 10 days.
“What Iran does to hide its hand is they use Iranian proxies. That’s either UAVs or rockets to be able to attack our forces in either Iraq or Syria,” Kurilla said Thursday during testimony to the House Armed Services Committee.
This article appeared originally on The Western Journal.