Drones attack base housing US troops in Syria as 2 carrier strike groups move to Middle East
The Pentagon placed 2,000 U.S. troops on a 24-hour notice to deploy.
U.S. forces in western Iraq were targeted in another drone attack early Tuesday morning, according to a report, marking the latest in a string of assaults on American troops in the Middle East as the Israel-Hamas war continues.
Two armed drones were used against Iraq’s Ain al-Asad airbase, Reuters reported, citing a security source and a government source. The base hosts international troops that assist Iraq in defeating a terror group called the Daesh, or the Islamic State. No casualties or damage were reported.
Tuesday’s attack would make the 25th on U.S. forces in Iraq and Syria since Oct. 17. The attacks have included a mix of one-way drones and rockets, resulting in the death of an American contractor and 24 injured troops, according to U.S. defense officials.
The attacks have increased in recent weeks as President Biden and other senior leaders continue to express support for Israel and its right to defend itself after one of the worst terror attacks in decades left more than 1,400 people dead, including 34 Americans.
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American forces in Iraq and Syria have been targeted 25 times by a mix of drone and missile attacks since Oct. 17. (U.S. Army photo by Spc. Jensen Guillory)
According to Reuters, a group called the “Islamic resistance in Iraq” endorsed the attack, which took place less than 24 hours after another missile attack from the same base in Iraq.
On Monday, five rockets landed a mile away from the al-Asad Air Base.
No injuries to American soldiers or the base were reported. Coalition forces also were not injured.
A map shows U.S. forces stationed in the Middle East as Iranian-backed forces target Americans in Iraq and Syria. (Fox News Digital)
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In response to earlier attacks, U.S. military forces last week conducted “self-defense strikes on two facilities in eastern Syria used by Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) and affiliated groups,” Secretary of Defense Lloyd J. Austin said Thursday.
“The President has no higher priority than the safety of U.S. personnel, and he directed today’s action to make clear that the United States will not tolerate such attacks and will defend itself, its personnel, and its interests,” Austin said.
He added: “These precision self-defense strikes are a response to a series of ongoing and mostly unsuccessful attacks against U.S. personnel in Iraq and Syria by Iranian-backed militia groups that began on October 17.”
A Hamas-led terror attack on Oct. 7, 2023 left more than 1,400 people killed. The victims were mostly civilians and the attack prompted Israel to declare war on Hamas. (Government Press Office)
Austin also called Iran out by name, explicitly blaming the country for the attacks on American forces over the past two weeks.
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“The United States does not seek conflict and has no intention nor desire to engage in further hostilities, but these Iranian-backed attacks against U.S. forces are unacceptable and must stop,” Austin said. “Iran wants to hide its hand and deny its role in these attacks against our forces. We will not let them. If attacks by Iran’s proxies against U.S. forces continue, we will not hesitate to take further necessary measures to protect our people.”
Nationals from at least 39 countries have died in Israel’s war with Hamas, which started after Hamas terrorists invaded Israel’s border on Oct. 7 and slaughtered 1,400 people. (Government Press Office)
Since the start of the Israel-Hamas war, more than 30 Americans have been killed in the conflict, which has also claimed lives of citizens from 38 other countries.
Fox News Digital’s Liz Friden contributed to this report.