The US military executed several airstrikes in Syria on Thursday night following what was reportedly an Iran-aligned drone attack that killed one American contractor and wounded another, along with five US troops.
Reuters reported that the attack against the US took place in northeast Syria, at a coalition based around Hasakah.
Though the US intelligence community concluded that the attack was Iranian in origin, the incident could raise tensions in an already sensitive situation between the two countries.
The report noted that US Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin said the US retaliation was given the green light by President Joe Biden and that it targeted infrastructure that played host to groups close to Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC).
The IRGC is a major military and political force in Iran, with its own ground forces, navy, and air force. As of 2020, it was reported to have over 190,000 members and operated closely with Ayatollah Ali Khamenei.
“The air strikes 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,” Austin said.
“No group will strike our troops with impunity.”
There have been conflicting information on the fallout of the US airstrike, per Reuters. The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights suggested that the US airstrikes had resulted in eight pro-Iranian fighters dead in Syria.
However, Iran’s state-sponsored Press TV noted that there were no Iranians killed in the attack and suggested that the location hit was a rural development center and a grain center close to a military airport.
The outlet said: “A military source in Syria told Press TV that the resistance groups reserve their right to respond to the American attack and will take reciprocal action.”
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