The US military conducted strikes on two targets in eastern Syria believed to be used by Iran-backed groups, Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin said Sunday.
The strikes are the third in less than three weeks, coinciding with heightened tensions in the Middle East due to Israel’s ongoing conflict in Gaza.
“US military forces conducted precision strikes today on facilities in eastern Syria used by Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) and Iran-affiliated groups in response to continued attacks against US personnel in Iraq and Syria,” Austin said in a release.
He said the strikes hit a training facility and a safe house near the cities of Abu Kamal and Mayadin in response to continued rocket and drone attacks against US personnel in Iraq and Syria.
“The President 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,” he added.
The latest round of strikes follows two previous operations. The first, on Oct. 26, targeted two facilities in eastern Syria used by the IRGC and associated groups. The second, a self-defense strike on Nov. 8, again focused on an IRGC-linked facility in the same region.
Since Oct. 17, US forces stationed in Iraq and Syria have faced nearly 50 attacks, a sharp increase following the outbreak of the conflict between Israel and the Palestinian resistance group Hamas.
Israel has been carrying out relentless air and ground attacks on the Gaza Strip — including on hospitals, residences and houses of worship — since the Palestinian group Hamas launched a cross-border attack on Oct. 7.
Since then, the number of deaths in the ongoing Israeli attacks has surpassed 11,100, including more than 8,000 women and children, the government media office in Gaza said on Sunday.
The Israeli death toll is nearly 1,200, according to official figures.
Source : aa