According to the US, it has carried out two new “precision airstrikes” in Syria, targeting facilities used by Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) and its aligned groups. The strikes were conducted in response to continued attacks against US forces in Syria and Iraq.
US Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin confirmed that the strikes took place by the US Air Force, targeting “a training facility” near the city of Albu Kamal and a “safe house” near Mayadeen. The strikes aimed to deter further attacks on US personnel and interests in the region. According to Austin, the President’s directive ordering the strikes emphasized the importance of ensuring the safety of US personnel in the region.
According to an unnamed local source cited by Reuters, one of the strikes targeted a camp run by pro-Iranian armed groups in an area west of Albu Kamal, located in the Deir Ezzor province. The other strike occurred near a bridge close to the city of Mayadeen, which is known to be a stronghold of pro-Iranian armed groups. The Associated Press reported that one of the sites also included a weapons storage facility.
These airstrikes mark the third such operation conducted by the US in just over two weeks. The attacks are part of an ongoing effort to counter drone and rocket attacks against US forces in Syria and Iraq, which have escalated since the outbreak of the Israel-Hamas war at the beginning of October. The US and coalition troops have faced approximately 40 attacks by Iran-backed forces in recent weeks, resulting in injuries to 56 personnel. The Pentagon has emphasized that the strikes are aimed at protecting US troops, deterring further attacks, and preventing a resurgence of ISIS in the region.
Iran and its supporters have accused the US of sharing responsibility for Israel’s declared war against Hamas. The presence of Iran and Iranian-backed militias has been a longstanding issue for many in the region who see their presence as destabilizing. Israel, the US, Jordan, Turkey, and revolutionary factions have all expressed concern for Iran and its proxies in Syria.
These recent US airstrikes demonstrate the US government’s commitment to protecting its personnel and interests in the region. However, these actions also highlight the delicate balance of power and the potential for further escalation in the already volatile Middle East.