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US Carries Out Air Strikes in Syria After American Contractor Killed


Asharq Al-Awsat


The US military carried out multiple airstrikes in Syria on Thursday night against Iran-aligned groups who it blamed for a deadly drone attack that killed an American contractor, injured another and wounded five US troops earlier in the day, the Pentagon said.
Both the attack on US personnel and the retaliation were disclosed by the Pentagon at the same time late on Thursday.
The US intelligence community assessed that the one-way attack drone was Iranian in origin, the military said, a conclusion that could further aggravate already strained tensions between Washington and Tehran.
US Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin said the retaliatory strikes were carried out at the direction of President Joe Biden and targeted facilities used by groups affiliated with Iran's Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC).
"The air strikes 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," Austin said in a statement, Reuters reported.
"No group will strike our troops with impunity."
The drone attack caused wounds that, for three services members and a contractor, required medical evacuation to Iraq.
The other two wounded American troops were treated at the base in northeast Syria, the Pentagon said.
Kurilla, testifying to the House Armed Services Committee earlier on Thursday, cautioned about Iran's fleet of drones.
"The Iranian regime now holds the largest and most capable unmanned aerial vehicle force in the region," he said.

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