US launches airstrikes in eastern Syria

The United States launched airstrikes in eastern Syria against Iran-linked targets in retaliation for the death of a US contractor, the Pentagon said.

Earlier on Friday, a US contractor was killed and five US soldiers and another US contractor were injured after a suicide drone struck a maintenance facility at a coalition base near the town of Al-Hasakah, in northeastern Syria, around 1:38 pm local time . .

The Pentagon said the intelligence community believed the drone was of Iranian origin.

“At the direction of President Biden, I authorized US Central Command forces to conduct precision strikes in eastern Syria against facilities used by groups associated with Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC). ), said US Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin. “The airstrikes were carried out in response to today’s attacks and a series of recent attacks against coalition forces in Syria by groups related to the IRGC.”

These precision strikes are intended to protect US personnel, the Pentagon said.

“The United States has taken proportionate and prudent steps to limit the risk of escalation and minimize losses,” the statement said.

“As President Biden has made it clear, we will take whatever action is necessary to protect our people, and we will always respond in our time and place,” Austin said. “No group will strike our troops with impunity.”

“Our hearts go out to the families and colleagues of the other contractors and those injured in today’s attack,” the minister said.

Two injured soldiers were treated at the scene, while three other soldiers and a second contractor were evacuated to coalition medical facilities in Iraq, the Pentagon said.