After U.S. military air operations against Iran-backed troops in Syria in reprisal for an attack, Vice President Joe Biden issued a warning to Iran that the U.S. would “act strongly” to defend Americans.
“Make no mistake: the United States does not … seek conflict with Iran, but be prepared for us to act forcefully to protect our people,” Biden told reporters during a visit to Canada.
When asked if Iran should pay a heavier price, Vice President Biden said, “We’re not going to stop.” Authorities say a US service member was wounded in Syria on Friday in the latest tit-for-tat strike between Iran-backed fighters and US Marines.
The incident on Thursday, which claimed the life of an American contractor and injured five US troops and another contractor, prompted this. The United States government has claimed that an Iranian-made drone was involved in the attack.
Under the condition of anonymity, two US officials said the base’s defenses looked to have been compromised. According to one U.S. official quoted by Reuters, ground soldiers apparently did not have enough time to respond to the drone’s arrival.
Drone attacks against US personnel in Syria are not uncommon, although they rarely result in casualties. As efforts to resurrect a nuclear deal between Iran and key nations in 2015 have faltered and Iranian drones have been utilized by Russia against Ukraine, the violence has the potential to exacerbate already tense relations between Washington and Tehran.
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The Pentagon reported on Thursday that American F-15s had bombed two buildings housing members of Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC). Eight pro-Iranian fighters were reportedly killed by American strikes, according to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, which tracks the conflict in Syria.
Reuters was unable to verify the death count without outside assistance. No injuries were recorded after Friday’s suspected US rocket firing, which, according to two local sources, hit new locations in eastern Syria.
In a statement posted online late on Friday, pro-Iranian fighters in Syria threatened to respond to any further US strikes on their positions with a “long arm.“
Local sources, as reported by Iran’s state-run Press TV, said that the target was not a military outpost connected with Iran, but rather a rural development center and a grain center located close to a military airport, and that no Iranians were killed in the attack.
Thursday morning’s drone attack on a coalition facility near Hasakah in northeast Syria, run by the United States-led coalition against the remnants of Islamic State, prompted the United States to retaliate with airstrikes.
Two American personnel were treated at the base while the other three were sent to Iraq for medical care. The Pentagon reported on Friday that the injured service members were in stable condition.
On Friday morning, a security source and the pro-Iranian Lebanese television station Al Mayadeen reported an attack on a US installation at the Al-Omar oil field in Syria. After US airstrikes hit Syrian locations, Iranian-backed militias frequently retaliate by firing missiles at the bases.
Below is a statement from US Central Command on a rocket attack targeting coalition forces that struck a civilian house, causing significant damage to the house and minor injuries to two women and two children. pic.twitter.com/XCgp6jZdWz
— U.S. Central Command (@CENTCOM) March 24, 2023
First, US forces entered Syria during the Obama administration’s fight against the Islamic State, joining forces with the Syrian Democratic Forces, a Kurdish-led organization.
Over 900 American soldiers are now stationed in Syria, predominantly in the country’s eastern provinces. Since the beginning of 2021, Iranian-backed militias have attacked US forces roughly 78 times, according to the US military.
Sleeper cells still carry out hit-and-run strikes in remote areas where neither the US-led coalition nor the Syrian government exerts complete authority, even though Islamic State has lost the areas it controlled over in Syria and Iraq in 2014.
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