The US conducted airstrikes in Syria Thursday against facilities affiliated with Iranâs Revolutionary Guard after a US contractor was killed and five service members injured in an Iranian drone attack, according to the Pentagon.
The Iranian assault targeted a coalition base housing American personnel near Hasakah in northeast Syria, officials said.
A second US contractor was also injured.
The US military responded to the deadly assault with airstrikes against targets in Syria used by militants affiliated with Iranâs Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps, Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin said in a statement Thursday.Â
“The airstrikes were conducted in response to todayâs attack as well as a series of recent attacks against Coalition forces in Syria by groups affiliated with the IRGC,” he added.
The Pentagon says the airstrikes were âproportionateâ and carried out in a manner intended to âlimit the risk of escalation and minimize casualties.â
“As President Biden has made clear, we will take all necessary measures to defend our people and will always respond at a time and place of our choosing,” Austin said. “No group will strike our troops with impunity.”
The identities of the dead and wounded Americans have not been revealed.
Two of the injured US service members were treated on site, according to the Pentagon, and three additional service members and the surviving US contractors were evacuated to coalition medical facilities in Iraq.
“Our thoughts are with the family and colleagues of the contractor who was killed and with those who were wounded in the attack earlier today,” Austin said.
Roughly 900 US service members are stationed in Syria and tasked with carrying out counterterrorism operations in the war-torn country.
In February, a US helicopter raid against a top ISIS figure left four American commandos and a military working dog wounded.
The assault killed senior ISIS leader Hamza al-Homsi.
A measure sponsored by conservative Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-Fla.) to pull all US troops out of Syria failed in the House earlier this month.
Officially, US military operations in Syria are justified under the 2001 Authorization for Use of Military Force enacted after the 9/11 terrorist attacks.
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