In a recent incident, ten Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) fighters were reportedly killed or wounded in a U.S. airstrike on an IRGC facility in Deir-ez-Zor, eastern Syria, as per local Nahr Media. U.S. Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin stated that the U.S. Air Force targeted a “weapons facility” in eastern Syria, asserting its connection to Iran.
“In response to recent attacks targeting U.S. forces in Iraq and Syria, U.S. military forces conducted a self-defence strike on a facility in eastern Syria used by Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) and affiliated groups,” stated Austin. The strike, carried out by two US F-15 aircraft, aimed to defend U.S. forces and installations. Austin emphasized the readiness for additional action while urging a stance of non-escalation.
The Defense Ministry’s statement underscores Washington’s intention to hold Iran accountable for attacks on U.S. forces. It signals an expectation for Tehran to take measures compelling its proxies to cease such actions. Pentagon Deputy Press Secretary Sabrina Singh revealed that, since October 17, US bases in Syria endured 18 attacks, while Iraq faced 22 drone and missile attacks. Militias aligned with Iran in Iraq claim these actions are a response to U.S. support for Israel in the ongoing conflict in Gaza since October 7th.
About 2,500 U.S. military personnel are deployed in Iraq and about 900 in Syria as part of a coalition against the Islamic State.