Pentagon says US forces in Iraq and Syria attacked 38 times since mid-October

The US says the rocket and drone attacks are linked to Iran

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken leaves the International Zone in Baghdad by helicopter after meeting Iraqi Prime Minister Mohammed Shia Al Sudani on November 5. AP
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US forces in Iraq and Syria have been attacked 38 times with rockets and drones since mid-October, injuring dozens of American personnel, the Pentagon said on Monday.

Washington has blamed the surge in attacks on Iran-backed forces, and American warplanes carried out strikes in late October against sites in Syria that the Pentagon said were linked to Tehran.

“Since October 17 Eastern Time, we've had 20 attacks in Iraq, 18 in Syria – total of 38,” Pentagon spokesman Brig Gen Pat Ryder told journalists.

Brig Gen Ryder said they were “essentially … harassing attacks.”

The attacks have caused 45 injuries to American personnel, all of them before the US strikes in Syria that were carried out on October 26, he said.

The surge in attacks on US troops is linked to the war between Israel and Hamas, which began when the militant group carried out a cross-border attack from Gaza on October 7 that Israeli officials say killed more than 1,400 people.

Israel's military responded with a relentless air, land and naval assault on Gaza that the territory's Health Ministry said on Monday has killed more than 10,000 people.

There are about 2,500 American troops in Iraq and 900 in Syria as part of efforts to prevent a resurgence of ISIS, which once held significant territory in both countries but was pushed back by local ground forces supported by international air strikes.

Updated: November 06, 2023, 7:26 PM