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Iran Warns against US Targeting of Military Bases in Eastern Syria


Asharq Al-Awsat


Iran warned of a “decisive counter-response” if new US strikes are launched against bases operated by its proxy militias in Syria. The bases, according to an Iranian security spokesperson, were created at the request of Damascus to deal with terrorism and ISIS elements.
Distinguishing between anti-terrorism military bases where Iran is present in Syria, and other centers in which militias linked to the Iranian Revolutionary Guard are deployed remains unclear. Iranian proxy militias have spread their presence over several east Syria areas near the border with Iraq.
The death toll in US air strikes on pro-Iran installations in eastern Syria had risen to 19 fighters, a Syrian war monitor said on Saturday, in one of the deadliest exchanges between the US and Iran-aligned forces in years.
The US carried out strikes in eastern Syria in response to a drone attack on Thursday that left one American contractor dead, and another one wounded along with five US troops. Washington said the attack was of Iranian origin.
“Any pretext to attack bases created at the request of the Syrian government to deal with terrorism and ISIS elements in this country will be met with an immediate counter-response,” Keyvan Khosravi, spokesperson for Iran’s top security body, was quoted as saying by the semi-official news agency Nournews.
Khosravi also denied accusations by US officials about Iran's involvement in the attack on US bases in Syria.
“Tehran has paid a heavy price for confronting terrorism and establishing security and stability in Syria, and it opposes any action that threatens the stability of this country,” he said.
Iran says its forces and allied fighters are in Syria at the request of Damascus and sees US forces as occupiers.
“At the direction of President Biden, I authorized US Central Command forces to conduct precision airstrikes tonight in eastern Syria against facilities used by groups affiliated with Iran’s Revolutionary Guards,” said US Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin.

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