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11 People Killed in US Strikes in Syria After American Contractor Killed by Drone


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At least 11 pro-Iranian fighters were killed in US air strikes on Syria carried out in response to a drone attack that killed an American and wounded six others, according to a war monitor, Friday.

The Pentagon said a US contractor was killed and another contractor and five US service members were wounded when a kamikaze drone “of Iranian origin” struck a maintenance facility at a US-led coalition base near Hasaka in northeastern Syria.

In response, US Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin said Thursday that, at the direction of President Joe Biden, he has ordered “precision air strikes tonight in eastern Syria against facilities used by groups affiliated with Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps.”

“The air strikes were in response to today’s attack, as well as a series of recent attacks against coalition forces in Syria by groups affiliated with the Iranian Revolutionary Guard,” Austin said.

The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, a Britain-based monitor with an extensive network of sources on the ground in the war-torn country, said 11 people were killed in the US strikes, including two Syrians.

“The American strikes targeted a weapons depot inside the city of Deir ez-Zor, killing six pro-Iranian fighters and two other fighters, with strikes targeting the Al-Mayadin desert, and three others near Al-Bukamal,” Observatory head Rami said. Abdulrahman.

The United States has about 900 troops deployed to bases and locations across northeastern Syria as part of a coalition fighting the remnants of the Islamic State terrorist group.

Iranian-backed militias are deployed heavily across Syria, particularly around the border with Iraq and south and west of the Euphrates River in Deir Ezzor province, where the latest US strikes have taken place.

“always answer”

US forces also support the People’s Protection Units, which fought ISIS in Syria. American personnel are frequently targeted in attacks by armed groups.

The Pentagon said two American service members who were injured Thursday received treatment at the site, while the other three soldiers and one American contractor have been evacuated to Iraq.

“We will always take all actions necessary to defend our people and we will always respond at a time and place of our choosing,” said Gen. Michael Korella, commander of US Central Command.

When the strikes were announced, Biden had already traveled to Canada, where he was scheduled to meet Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.

In January, the US military said that “three one-way attack drones” were launched against a coalition barracks in al-Tanf, Syria, one of which penetrated its air defenses and hit allied Syrian fighters.

The Observatory said the attack was likely carried out by Iran-backed militants.

Last August, Biden ordered similar retaliatory strikes in the oil-rich Syrian province of Deir ez-Zor after several drones targeted a coalition site, without causing any casualties.

This attack came on the same day that the official Iranian media announced the death of a general in the Revolutionary Guards a few days ago while he was on “a mission in Syria as a military advisor.”

Iran, a key ally of the government of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, says it has deployed its forces in Syria at the invitation of Damascus and only as advisers.

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