by WorldTribune Staff / 247 Real News March 24, 2023
Iran-backed fighters fired seven missiles at a U.S. military base in northeast Syria on Friday, U.S. defense officials said.
The missile attack was reportedly a retaliatory strike following a U.S. military precision strike targeting the Iran-backed groups in Syria. Those groups had earlier launched a suicide drone attack that killed an American contractor.
The Iran-backed groups targeted the U.S. base at the Al-Omar oil field in Syria’s northeast with a missile attack at around 11 a.m. on Friday morning.
“It is not uncommon, when we take a retaliatory strike like this, for them to answer right back with some ineffective rocket fire. And these were largely, completely ineffective,” White House national security spokesman John Kirby told MSNBC. “Nobody was hurt, no U.S. casualties at all.”
On Thursday, U.S. Central Command forces launched what they called “precision airstrikes” against facilities used by groups affiliated with Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC), killing 11 pro-Iran fighters.
U.S. Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin said Thursday’s retaliatory airstrikes against the IRGC, a wing of the Iranian military which is blacklisted as a terrorist group by the U.S., were carried out by F-15 fighter jets.
This decision was in response to an earlier Iranian suicide drone attack which killed a U.S. contractor and injured five service members, as well as another American contractor at a maintenance facility on a Coalition base near al-Hasakah in northeast Syria. The six Americans are all in a stable condition, the Pentagon said.
The Defense Department said the intelligence community had determined the drone was of Iranian origin.
Gen. Michael Kurilla, commander of U.S. Central Command, warned that American forces could carry out additional strikes if needed.
“We are postured for scalable options in the face of any additional Iranian attacks,” Kurilla said in a statement.
Addressing the U.S. House Armed Services Committee on Thursday, Kurilla warned lawmakers that the “Iran of today is exponentially more militarily capable than it was even five years ago.’ He pointed to Iran’s arsenal of ballistic missiles and bomb-carrying drones. Iran’s vast and deeply resourced proxy forces spread instability throughout the region and threaten our regional partners.”
Kurilla said Iran had launched some 78 attacks on U.S. positions in Syria since January 2021.
“What Iran does to hide its hand is they use Iranian proxies – that’s either UAVs or rockets to be able to attack our forces in either Iraq or Syria,” Kurilla said.