US Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin mentioned two American F-15 warplanes – like this one pictured in June 2020 – hit an Iranian-linked weapons storage facility in Syria
WASHINGTON – US warplanes carried out a strike on a weapons storage facility related to Iran in japanese Syria on Wednesday in response to assaults on American personnel, US Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin mentioned.
It is the second time in about two weeks that the United States has focused a site in Syria it mentioned was linked to Iran, which helps a spread of armed teams that Washington has blamed for a spike in assaults on its forces in the Middle East.
The United States is making an attempt to discourage Iran and its proxies from turning the Israel-Hamas struggle right into a regional warfare, however the repeated assaults and strikes danger a battle between Washington and Tehran.
“US army forces performed a self-defense strike on a facility in japanese Syria utilized by Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) and affiliated teams. Two US F-15s performed this strike in opposition to a weapons storage facility,” Austin mentioned in an announcement.
“This precision self-defense strike is in response to a collection of assaults in opposition to US personnel in Iraq and Syria by IRGC-Quds Force associates,” Austin mentioned, including that the United States “is totally ready to take any vital extra measures to guard our protection. folks and our services.”
– ‘Stop attacking us’ –
A senior US protection official mentioned the strike was being mixed “with very clear messages by a number of channels. And the message, to senior Iranian leaders, is, ‘We need you to order your proxies and your militia teams to cease attacking us.”
War monitor the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights mentioned Wednesday’s strike killed 9 folks affiliated with Iran-backed teams.
A senior American army official mentioned the site in Deir Ezzor province was being monitored so the United States might select a time to hold out the strike with “minimal casualties,” however that it might trigger some personal.
“We had been monitoring just a few (folks) max that haven’t any affirmation immediately earlier than the strike,” mentioned the official.
The US army additionally struck two services in Syria on October 26 that it mentioned had been utilized by the IRGC and affiliated teams, however mentioned these strikes didn’t trigger casualties.
Like the most recent strike, Washington mentioned the 2 earlier had been in response to assaults on US personnel, which have been focused greater than 40 instances with rockets and drones since October 17.
The surge in assaults on US troops is linked to the warfare between Israel and Hamas, which started when the militant group carried out a shock cross-border assault from Gaza on October 7 that Israeli officers say killed greater than 1,400 folks.
The Israeli army responded with a relentless air, floor and naval assault on Gaza that the territory’s well being ministry mentioned had left greater than 10,500 folks lifeless.
– MQ-9 drone shot down
There are about 2,500 American troops in Iraq and about 900 in Syria as a part of efforts to stop the Islamic State group from re-emerging.
Jews as soon as held important territory in each international locations however had been pushed again by native floor forces backed by worldwide airstrikes in a bloody multi-year battle.
In one other incident associated to the warfare between Israel and Hamas, the Iran-backed Huthi rebels in Yemen mentioned on Wednesday that that they had shot down an American drone.
“Our air defenses had been capable of shoot down an American MQ-9 whereas engaged in hostile surveillance and espionage actions in Yemen’s territorial waters as a part of American army help” to Israel, the rebels mentioned in an announcement.
Senior officers from the United States — which offered army help to Israel and in addition supported American forces in the area after the October 7 assault — have confirmed that one of many drones crashed in the nation.
The Huthis are in opposition to authorities forces in Yemen and are a part of the “axis of resistance” of teams organized in opposition to Israel.
They have claimed accountability for a number of drone and missile assaults in opposition to Israel throughout its warfare with Hamas, and the US Navy intercepted missiles fired by the rebels final month.
A collection of MQ-9 drones — which might fly greater than 1,100 miles (1,700 kilometers) at altitudes of as much as 50,000 toes (15,000 meters) and can be utilized for surveillance and strikes — have been misplaced or broken in latest years . , together with one thought-about by the United States to have diminished the Huthis in 2019.