The U.S. carried out airstrikes against two facilities in eastern Syria used by Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps and militias they support, the Pentagon announced Oct. 26.
Secretary of Defense Lloyd J. Austin III said the “narrowly tailored” strikes were intended to respond to a series of attacks against American forces in Iraq and Syria by Iranian-backed militias. The strikes were carried out by U.S. Air Force F-16s, a senior military official told reporters.
“Iran wants to hide its hand and deny its role in these attacks against our forces,” Austin said in a statement. “We will not let them. If attacks by Iran’s proxies against U.S. forces continue, we will not hesitate to take further necessary measures to protect our people.”
Iranian-backed militias have carried out at least 16 attacks on U.S. military personnel in Iraq and Syria in the last 10 days, the Pentagon said Oct. 26.
Twelve of those attacks have taken place in Iraq while four have occurred in Syria. And the attacks, which U.S. officials say are encouraged by Iran, show no sign of ending, prompting White House warnings about a military response.