DAYRO ZCURO, Syria — After the spread of Iranian militias across Syrian territory, the Israeli air force pledged to strike the Iranian positions to protect the security of Israel. The U.S. has, until now, only verbally condemned the Iranian presence in Syria.
However, due to the frequent targeting of U.S. diplomatic missions in Iraq, Washington has responded in Syria, likely to avoid putting Iraq in a politically difficult position.
According to the Pentagon, on Thursday, U.S. jet fighters launched several raids on Iranian militias located in eastern Syria in response to the recent rocket attack targeting U.S. personnel stationed near the Erbil International Airport which killed one contractor and left several others, including one U.S. service member, wounded.
U.S. Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin told reporters that the U.S. administration is confident that the locations targeted in Syria were being used by the same militias that carried out the missile attacks in Iraq.
Austin explained that the U.S. forces relied on intelligence information provided by Iraq.
The New York Times, citing U.S. officials, stated that the seven strikes were conducted targeting a small group of buildings on the Syrian–Iraqi border which the Iranian militias used to transport weapons and equipment.
Three trucks belonging to the militias on the outskirts of Albu Kamal in the countryside of Dayro Zcuro (Deir ez-Zor) which were destined for Imam Ali military base in the Syrian desert (Badia) were also targeted.
Regarding the identity of the militias responsible for the rocket attack, spokesperson for the Department of Defense John Kirby confirmed that those buildings were used by the Hezbollah and the Sayyid of Martyrs Battalions (Kata’ib Sayyid al-Shuhada, KSS).
It is unclear if there were casualties in the air raid.