The United States military launched a number of retaliatory raids on sites linked to Iran and affiliated militant groups. The strikes came after Iran-linked groups attacked a number of bases hosting American military personnel across the Middle East.
The Thursday attacks were deemed “self-defense strikes” by Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin.
“These precision self-defense strikes are a response to a series of ongoing and mostly unsuccessful attacks against U.S. personnel in Iraq and Syria by Iranian-backed militia groups that began on October 17,” he said in a statement.
The Pentagon said that American forces struck a weapons and ammunition storage area in eastern Syria. The Iranian Revolutionary Guard allegedly uses the facilities to aid allied militia groups.
“The President has no higher priority than the safety of U.S. personnel, and he directed today’s action to make clear that the United States will not tolerate such attacks and will defend itself, its personnel, and its interests,” Austin said.
Senior U.S. Defense Officials have stated that the Two Airstrike tonight in Eastern Syria near the City of Al-Bukamal were conducted by 2 F-16 “Fighting Falcons” of the U.S. Air Force, with the Locations that were Targeted consisting of a Weapons Storage Facility and an…
— OSINTdefender (@sentdefender) October 27, 2023
The defense chief further said that the United States “does not seek conflict,” but that “these Iranian-backed attacks against U.S. forces are unacceptable and must stop.”
“Iran wants to hide its hand and deny its role in these attacks against our forces. We will not let them. If attacks by Iran’s proxies against U.S. forces continue, we will not hesitate to take further necessary measures to protect our people,” Austin said.
Iranian-supported forces continued strikes against U.S. forces across the region. This included an attack on American forces stationed in northern Iraq on Thursday.
As a result, one American contractor died due to cardiac arrest. Austin said that 21 other Americans suffered minor injuries due to the attack at Erbil Airbase.
Earlier this week, the Pentagon announced that the attacks on U.S. forces caused about 30 injuries. These included a number of brain injuries.
The attacks came after the United States supported Israel in its ongoing war against Hamas militants in Gaza. The conflict began earlier this month after a Hamas terrorist attack killed more than 1,400 Israelis, most of whom were civilians.