US launches strikes in eastern Syria in response to attacks on its bases: Defense chief

Lloyd Austin

Strikes are a response to a series of ongoing and mostly unsuccessful attacks against US personnel in Iraq and Syria,' says Lloyd Austin

The US military launched airstrikes on two facilities used by Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps and affiliated groups in eastern Syria, Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin said Thursday.

The strikes came at President Joe Biden's direction, said Austin in a statement.

"These precision self-defence strikes are a response to a series of ongoing and mostly unsuccessful attacks against U.S. personnel in Iraq and Syria by Iranian-backed militia groups that began on October 17," said the defence chief.

The attacks resulted in the death of a US civilian contractor from a cardiac incident while sheltering in place and the injuries of 21 US personnel.

"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," said Austin.

He said the US 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. Iran wants to hide its hand and deny its role in these attacks against our forces. 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," Austin noted.

"These narrowly tailored strikes in self-defence were intended solely to protect and defend U.S. personnel in Iraq and Syria," said the defence chief, adding they are separate and distinct from the ongoing conflict between Israel and the Palestinian group Hamas and do not constitute a shift in the US’s approach to the Israel-Hamas conflict.

"We continue to urge all state and non-state entities not to take action that would escalate into a broader regional conflict," he added.

Copyright Greekcitytimes 2024