The United States military executed two strikes Thursday night against Iran-backed facilities in Syria in response to a series of attacks carried out against U.S. forces in the Middle East over the past week by Iran-backed terrorist groups.
Addressing Thursday night’s strikes in Syria, Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin issued a statement, saying, “Today, at President Biden’s direction, U.S. military forces conducted self-defense strikes on two facilities in eastern Syria used by Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) and affiliated groups.”
Austin noted that the “precision self-defense strikes” were a direct response to the recent attacks against U.S. forces in both Iraq and Syria by Iranian-backed terrorist groups, which started on Oct. 17 and have continued throughout this week.
Austin explained that the “mostly unsuccessful” attacks against U.S. forces resulted in a U.S. contractor dying from a “cardiac incident” during a shelter-in-place and 21 service members sustaining “minor injuries.”
According to The Daily Wire, 19 U.S. soldiers received traumatic brain injuries as a result of the attacks carried out by Iran-backed terrorist organizations.
“The President has no higher priority than the safety of U.S. personnel, and he directed today’s action to make clear that the United States will not tolerate such attacks and will defend itself, its personnel, and its interests,” Austin said. “The United States does not seek conflict and has no intention nor desire to engage in further hostilities, but these Iranian-backed attacks against U.S. forces are unacceptable and must stop.”
While the Department of Defense made it clear that Iran is attempting to “hide its hand” by denying its involvement in the recent attacks against U.S. forces in the Middle East, Austin insisted that the U.S. military “will not let them.”
Austin warned that if Iran-backed terrorist organizations continue to attack U.S. forces, the Department of Defense “will not hesitate to take further necessary measures to protect our people.”
Describing Thursday night’s military actions as “narrowly tailored strikes” that were executed in “self-defense” for the defense and protection of U.S. personnel in both Syria and Iraq, Austin emphasized that the strikes were “separate and distinct” from the current war between Israel and Hamas.
He added that the strikes against Iran-backed groups do not represent a change to the current approach of the United States to the conflict between Israel and Hamas.
“We continue to urge all state and non-state entities not to take action that would escalate into a broader regional conflict,” he concluded.