Israel-Hamas War: Amid the ongoing war between Israel and Hamas, the United States has been facing attacks on its troops in different Middle Eastern countries including Iraq, Syria, Iran and Turkey. This promoted the American troops to conduct a self-defence airstrike in eastern Syria against a facility used by the Iran Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps and affiliated groups on Thursday, the White House informed.
The precision strike was conducted in response to the recent attacks directed by the IRGC and affiliated groups against US and Coalition bases in Iraq and Syria, White House Deputy Press Secretary Olivia Dalton told reporters aboard Air Force One.
“Yesterday, President (Joe) Biden directed the US military to carry out a self-defence airstrike in eastern Syria against a facility used by the Iran Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps and affiliated groups,” Dalton said.
Attacks on US troops are unacceptable: White House
She said the US conducted the strike to disrupt and degrade the freedom of action and capabilities of these groups directly responsible for attacking US forces in Iraq and Syria as part of the mission to defeat ISIS.
“We are making it clear that these attacks are unacceptable and cannot continue. President Biden and the United States government are fully prepared to take further necessary measures to protect our people and our facilities. And we want to be clear that we continue to urge against any escalation,” Dalton said.
Deputy Pentagon Press Secretary Sabrina Singh told reporters at a separate news conference that these actions were taken in response to ongoing threats and attacks directed at US bases in both Syria and Iraq by the IRGC and related groups.
“The target was identified as a single-weapon storage facility used by the IRGC and the — and its related groups, US Central Command conducted the strike with two F-15s. We are still conducting the assessment of the strike, but initial analysis indicated multiple secondary explosions after the strike, as we had expected,” she said.
Clear message to Iran: US
Singh said this action was aimed at disrupting and degrading the capabilities of groups directly responsible for attacking US forces in the region.
By specifically targeting these associated facilities, the US seeks to convey a clear message to Iran that it will be held accountable for the attacks on US forces, she said. The US expects Iran to take measures to direct its proxies to stop, she said.
“Our military actions do not signal a change in our approach to the Israel-Hamas conflict and we have no intentions of escalating this conflict in the region. Our commitment to self-defence and the protection of US personnel remains the same,” Singh said. “Between October 17th and November 9th, US and coalition forces have been attacked at least 46 times to date, 24 separate times in Iraq and 22 separate times in Syria by a mix of one-way attack drones and rockets,” she said.
“In the last 24 hours, we’ve had three additional minor injuries, but all have returned to duty. In total, there have been 56 people injured. Their injuries are a combination of TBI (traumatic brain injury) and other minor injuries,” she said.
(With inputs from agency)