Conflicts & War

US strikes pro-Iran groups in Syria after American contractor’s death

Washington, Mar 23 (EFE).- The United States on Thursday conducted airstrikes against facilities of groups affiliated with Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC), in eastern Syria in retaliation for the death of an American contractor hours earlier in an attack with an Iranian-made drone, the Pentagon said.

“The airstrikes were conducted in response to today’s attack as well as a series of recent attacks against Coalition forces in Syria by groups affiliated with the IRGC,” US Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin said in a statement.

The Pentagon did not provide further details about the airstrikes nor whether they caused any casualties.

“The United States took proportionate and deliberate action intended to limit the risk of escalation and minimize casualties,” it said.

The drone attack on Thursday also left five US soldiers and another contractor injured.

The device hit a maintenance facility at a base of the international coalition fighting against the jihadist group Islamic State, in northeastern Syria, at about 1:38 pm.

“As President (Joe) Biden has made clear, we will take all necessary measures to defend our people and will always respond at a time and place of our choosing. No group will strike our troops with impunity,” Austin added.

The international coalition is present in several areas controlled by its ally, the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), a Kurdish-led armed alliance with which it collaborates in the fight against the Islamic State.

The Euphrates River roughly divides Deir al Zour into two parts: one controlled by troops loyal to Syrian President Bashar al-Assad and his allies, and another in the hands of Kurdish forces, with the presence of Washington and its allies.

Pro-Iranian militias supporting Damascus are deployed in government-held areas and occasionally attack US or coalition targets in the province, sometimes resulting in crossfire between the sides. EFE


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