The U.S. military carried out multiple air strikes on Iranian-backed fighters in Syria on Thursday, a response to a drone attack that killed an American contractor and wounded at least five U.S. service members. According to the Pentagon, the drone used in the attack was of Iranian origin.
“At the direction of President Biden, I authorized U.S. Central Command forces to conduct precision airstrikes tonight in eastern Syria against facilities used by groups affiliated with Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC),” said Secretary of Defense Lloyd J. Austin III. “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.”
The Pentagon added that the precision strikes were “proportionate and deliberate action intended to limit the risk of escalation and minimize casualties.”
Two of the wounded service members in Thursday’s drone attack were treated on site, while three additional service members and a U.S. contractor were medically evacuated to Coalition medical facilities in Iraq.