Israeli Naval forces foil Hamas’ attempted invasion by sea, IDF video shows
Israeli forces foiled an attempt by at least two Hamas terrorists to infiltrate Israel by sea on Tuesday, Israeli Defense Forces said. (Credit: Israel Defense Forces)
United States-led coalition forces have started live-fire exercises at military bases in Iraq and Syria, after more than a dozen attacks on American troops over the last week left more than 20 soldiers injured.
The Combined Joint Task Force — Operation Inherent Resolve (CJTF-OIR) said on Wednesday that ground operational exercises “to validate weapons systems and maintain crew proficiency and readiness” would happen in or near the al-Hasakah region in Syria and the Khalidiyah region in Iraq.
“On Oct. 25, 2023, Coalition service members will be conducting ground operational exercises in or near the al-Hasakah region in Syria to validate weapons systems and maintain crew proficiency and readiness,” a notice from CJTF-OIR said. A separate but similar notice coalition forces will conduct “base defense and ground operational exercises in or near the Khalidiyah region in Iraq to validate weapons systems and maintain crew proficiency and readiness.”
The exercises come as U.S. troops positioned in the Middle East have been attacked 14 times — 11 times in Iraq and three times in Syria — between Oct. 17-24. The attacks include a mix of one-way drones and rockets, resulting in 24 people getting injured, according to Pentagon officials.
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FILE – Soldiers with Alpha Troop, 1st Battalion, 6th Infantry Regiment, 2nd Armored Brigade Combat Team, 1st Armored Division, make their way to a oil production facility to meet with its management team, in Central Command (CENTCOM) area of responsibility, Oct. 27, 2020. The soldiers were in Syria to support Combined Joint Task Force-Operation Inherent Resolve (CJTF-OIR) mission. (U.S. Army photo by Spc. Jensen Guillory)
This image provided by the U.S. Navy shows the USS Carney in the Mediterranean Sea on Oct. 23, 2018. The USS Carney, a Navy destroyer, on Thursday, Oct. 19, 2023, took out three missiles that had been fired from Yemen and were heading north, U.S. officials said. The officials spoke on condition of anonymity to discuss military operations not yet announced. (Mass Communication Spc. 1st Class Ryan U. Kledzik/U.S. Naval Forces Europe-Africa via AP)
Speaking with reporters on Tuesday, U.S. Department of Defense spokesman Air Force Brig. Gen. Pat Ryder confirmed the 14 attacks as the region surrounding Israel and its war with Hamas in Gaza has started to overflow into the surrounding region.
Ryder also confirmed U.S. officials were helping Israeli officials with their planning ahead of an expected ground invasion into the Gaza Strip, including advice on mitigating civilian casualties.
The latest attack came Tuesday in Iraq, when Iran proxy forces fired a rocket at al-Asad air base, two U.S. defense officials said. The rocket was intercepted and no injuries, casualties or damages to the base were reported.
FILE – The al-Tanf military outpost in southern Syria is seen on Oct. 22, 2018. Two U.S. officials told The Associated Press that the al-Tanf garrison, where U.S. troops have maintained a presence to train forces as part of a broad campaign against the Islamic State group, was attacked by drones on Thursday, Oct. 19, 2023. (AP Photo/Lolita Baldor)
The same base, which is west of Baghdad, was the victim of a separate attack on Oct. 18, when U.S. forces engaged two drones, in which one was destroyed, and the second was damaged. Four people were injured in the attack and officials said the base also suffered some damage.
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A separate incident resulted in a contractor suffering a heart-attack, Ryder said.
“The same morning in Iraq, early warning systems indicated a possible threat approaching the airbase at al-Assad and Base personnel sheltered in place as a protective measure, though no attack occurred,” the spokesman said Thursday during a press briefing. “Sadly, a U.S. civilian contractor suffered a cardiac episode while sheltering [and] passed away shortly thereafter.”
Pentagon spokesman Air Force Brig. Gen. Patrick Ryder arrives for a briefing at the Pentagon in Washington, Thursday, Oct. 19, 2023. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)
Also on Oct. 18, the Al-Harir air base near Erbil and Al Tanf Garrison in Syria were also attacked. No injuries were reported in the first attack, but the second attack left 20 U.S. service members injured. They have since returned to duty.
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The following day, the USS Carney was in the northern Red Sea when it shot down four land attack cruise missiles and 15 drones that were launched by Houthi forces in Yemen.
Pentagon spokesman Air Force Brig. Gen. Patrick Ryder speaks during a briefing at the Pentagon in Washington, Thursday, Oct. 19, 2023. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)
Additional attacks that day occurred at the Baghdad Diplomatic Support Center near Baghdad International Airport and a mission support site in Euphrates in Northeast Syria; on Oct. 20 at al-Harir air base; and Oct. 23 at Al Tanf Garrison in Syria.
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Pentagon officials said Monday that all the attacks on U.S. troops have Iran’s fingerprints on them, though there is no evidence at this time showing the country’s leaders ordered the attacks.
According to its website, the CJTF-OIR “advises, assists and enables partnered forces until they can independently defeat Daesh in designated areas of Iraq and Syria, in order to set conditions for long-term security cooperation frameworks.”
The Daesh, also known as the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant or simply the Islamic State, is a terror group that has captured territory in both Iraq and Syria and was ultimately defeated with help of the U.S. and other forces.
Fox News’ Liz Friden and Greg Wehner contributed to this report.