US forces have carried out "precision airstrikes" in eastern Syria after a drone attack that killed an American and injured six others, the United States announced on Thursday evening March 23. The drone attack took place around 1:38 p.m. Thursday (11:38 a.m. Paris time) against a maintenance facility at a base near Hasakah in northeastern Syria, the Pentagon said in a statement. communicated.
US intelligence considers the drone to be "of Iranian origin", the Pentagon added. The deceased person is an American contractor, and the injured are five soldiers and another contractor who are also American, according to the same source.
Two of the injured soldiers were treated at the scene of the attack, while the other four were medically evacuated to Iraq, the Pentagon said.
"I have authorized United States Central Command forces to conduct precision airstrikes tonight in eastern Syria against facilities used by groups affiliated with Iran's Revolutionary Guard Corps," it said. US Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin was quoted in the statement.
US soldiers frequently targeted
"The airstrikes were carried out in response to today's attack as well as a series of recent attacks on coalition forces in Syria by groups affiliated with the Revolutionary Guard Corps," said he specified. "As President Biden has made clear, we will take all necessary action to defend our fellow citizens and always fight back when and where we choose," he added.
Several hundred American soldiers are in Syria as part of a coalition fighting against the remnants of the Islamic State (IS) group. They are frequently targeted in attacks by militias. US troops support the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), the de facto army of the Kurds in the region, which led the battle that ousted IS from the last territories it controlled in Syria in 2019.
In August 2022, US President Joe Biden ordered similar retaliatory strikes in Syria's oil-rich Deir Ezzor province after a coalition outpost was attacked by multiple drones that failed to no casualties. The attack occurred the day Iranian state media announced the death of a Revolutionary Guards general, killed a few days earlier, "during a mission in Syria as advisers military".
Iran says it deployed its forces in Syria at the invitation of Damascus, and only as advisers. The Islamic Revolutionary Guards are the ideological arm of the Iranian military and are labeled a terrorist group by Washington.