International

US Hits Iran-Backed Militants In Syria In Retaliation For Attacks On US Troops In Middle East

About 56 US personnel deployed in Iraq and Syria have been injured in attacks attributed to Iran-backed militant groups in the Middle East since the beginning of the Israel-Hamas War last month.

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This image from video provided by the Department of Defense shows a Nov. 8, 2023, airstrike on a weapons warehouse. center, in eastern Syria. The strike targeted a facility linked to Iranian-backed militias, in retaliation for what has been a growing number of attacks on bases housing U.S. troops in the region for the past several weeks. (Department of Defense via AP)
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The US military conducted airstrikes on two locations in eastern Syria involving Iranian-backed groups, hitting a training location and a weapons facility, according to the Pentagon and US officials.

It marks the third time in a bit more than two weeks that the US has retaliated against the militants for what has been a growing number of attacks on bases housing US troops in Iraq and Syria.

In a statement, Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin said the strikes targeted sites near Abukama and Mayadin and were used by Iran's Revolutionary Guard Corps as well as Iran-backed militias.

“The President has no higher priority than the safety of US personnel, and he directed today's action to make clear that the United States will defend itself, its personnel, and its interests,” Austin said.

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A U.S. official said one site also included weapons storage. The official spoke on condition of anonymity to discuss details of a military operation.

The militant groups, many operating under the umbrella of the Islamic Resistance in Iraq, have carried out nearly 50 attacks since October 17 on bases housing US personnel in Iraq and Syria.

That was the day a powerful explosion rocked a Gaza hospital, killing hundreds and triggering protests in a number of Muslim nations. The Israeli military has relentlessly attacked Gaza in retaliation for the devastating Hamas rampage in southern Israel on October 7. And a number of groups have vowed retaliation against the US for backing Israel in the war against Hamas.

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According to the Pentagon, about 56 US personnel have been injured in the attacks in Syria and Iraq, but all have returned to duty. Their injuries are a combination of traumatic brain injury and other minor wounds.

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