WASHINGTON (AA) – The US conducted airstrikes Thursday against Iran-backed groups in eastern Syria in response to a drone attack that killed a US contractor and injured five service members, said the Pentagon.
In a statement, the Pentagon said a “one-way unmanned aerial vehicle struck a maintenance facility on a Coalition base near Hasakah in northeast Syria” on Thursday afternoon, which also resulted in the injury of another US contractor.
According to the statement, “the intelligence community assess the UAV to be of Iranian origin.”
Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin said he authorized US Central Command forces to conduct precision airstrikes “against facilities used by groups affiliated with Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC)” at the direction of President Joe Biden.
“The airstrikes were conducted in response to today’s attack as well as a series of recent attacks against Coalition forces in Syria by groups affiliated with the IRGC,” said Austin.
“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,” said Austin. “No group will strike our troops with impunity.”
According to the statement, two of the wounded service members were treated on site, while three additional service members and the US contractor were medically evacuated to Coalition medical facilities in Iraq.