US military hits facilities in Syria after drone kills contractor
The US military says it has carried out multiple airstrikes against facilities in Syria after a US contractor was killed, with another employee injured as well as several US service members were left injured in attacks credited to Iran-aligned forces on Thursday.
In a statement by the Pentagon on Friday, earlier on Thursday, a drone suspected to be of Iranian origin struck a facility on a coalition base in Northeast Syria.
The Pentagon said that according to an intelligence assessment, the unmanned aerial vehicle was of Iranian origin.
“The airstrikes 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 Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps,” the statement issued by US Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin, said.
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“Earlier today, a U.S. contractor was killed and five U.S. service members and one additional U.S. contractor were wounded after a one-way unmanned aerial vehicle struck a maintenance facility on a Coalition base near Hasakah in northeast Syria at approximately 1:38 p.m. local time.
“At the direction of President Joe Biden, I authorized U.S. Central Command forces to conduct precision airstrikes tonight in eastern Syria against facilities used by groups affiliated with Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC).
“These precision strikes are intended to protect and defend U.S. personnel. The United States took proportionate and deliberate action intended to limit the risk of escalation and minimize casualties.
“As President Biden has made clear, we will take all necessary measures to defend our people and will always respond at a time and place of our choosing.
No group will strike our troops with impunity,” Austin said.
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