US strikes two Iran-backed sites in Syria

Third such strike since October 27 as attacks on US troops in Iraq and Syria soar

A US Air Force F-15E Strike Eagle. AFP
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The US conducted air strikes against two Iran-linked sites in Syria on Sunday in response to attacks on American personnel, Defence Secretary Lloyd Austin said.

This is the third such strike since October 27 and comes in response to dozens of attacks on US and coalition forces in Iraq and Syria, which have increased in tempo since the start of the Israel-Gaza war.

“US military forces conducted precision strikes today on facilities in eastern Syria used by Iran's Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps and Iran-affiliated groups in response to continued attacks against US personnel in Iraq and Syria,” Mr Austin said in a statement.

“The strikes were conducted against a training facility and a safe house near the cities of Abu Kamal and Mayadin, respectively.”

On November 8, a pair of US F-15 fighter jets destroyed an Iran-supported weapons storage depot in north-eastern Syria, the Pentagon said.

Those strikes followed the October 27 bombardment of two sites in eastern Syria used by the IRGC.

The Pentagon did not immediately release more details on Sunday's strikes.

The US is trying to contain the Israel-Gaza war and has been reluctant to draw too strong a connection between Israel's military assault on the Gaza Strip and the increased hostilities from Iran-backed groups.

But since mid-October, there have been more than 40 attacks in Iraq and Syria on American and coalition forces.

President Joe Biden “has no higher priority than the safety of US personnel, and he directed today’s action to make clear that the United States will defend itself, its personnel and its interests", Mr Austin said.

Updated: November 13, 2023, 4:51 AM