Following a drone attack in a maintenance facility on a Coalition base in northeast Syria on Thursday, a US contractor was killed another injured, and five US troops were wounded, the Pentagon said.
The aerial strike took place at approximately 1:38 pm local time on a Coalition base near Hasakah in northeast Syria, and the unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) is believed to be of Iranian origin, according to the US intelligence community.
President Joe Biden authorized the US Central Command forces to conduct precision airstrikes in eastern Syria against facilities used by groups affiliated with Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC).
“The airstrikes were conducted in response to a series of recent attacks against Coalition forces in Syria by groups affiliated with the IRGC,” Secretary of Defense Lloyd J. Austin said.
The retaliatory strikes were intended to protect and defend US personnel, according to US defense ministry. The United States took proportionate and deliberate action intended to limit the risk of escalation and minimize casualties.
Austin further added that no group that attacks the US forces will go unpunished. Necessary measures will be taken to defend Americans wherever they are at the right time, said Secretary Austin.
Iran-backed militia groups and Syrian forces control the area, which also has seen suspected airstrikes by Israel in recent months allegedly targeting Iranian supply routes.
IRGC has been suspected of conducting attacks with bomb-carrying drones across the wider Middle East. It is also reported that Russia has used Iran-made drones in its attacks in Ukraine as part of its war on Kyiv.
The rising geopolitical crisis has increased tensions between Russia and the West over the Ukraine conflict, and Iran for supplying drones to Russia in its struggle in the Ukraine war.