U.S. military forces conducted a self-defense strike, Nov. 8, on a facility in eastern Syria used by Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps and affiliated groups. This strike was conducted by two F-15 aircraft against a weapons storage depot, said Secretary of Defense Lloyd J. Austin III in a statement yesterday.
“This precision, self-defense strike is a response to a series of attacks against U.S. personnel in Iraq and Syria by IRGC-Quds force affiliates,” he said.
“The United States is fully prepared to take further necessary measures to protect our people and our facilities. We urge against any escalation. U.S. personnel will continue to conduct counter-ISIS missions in Iraq and Syria,” Austin added.
Yesterday, a senior defense official said that the Nov. 8 strikes in eastern Syria were in response to ongoing threats and attacks directed at U.S. bases in both Syria and Iraq by the IRGC and Iran-aligned militia groups.
“While our defensive measures have proven effective in countering unmanned aerial vehicle attacks on our personnel, we remain vigilant and concerned about the potential for escalation or bypassing these defenses. We have fortified our U.S. bases with additional Patriot batteries and increased defensive counter air patrols to further deter attacks and defend our forces,” the senior defense official said.
“In light of heightened tension stemming from the ongoing Israel-Hamas conflict, we have undertaken additional measures to communicate directly with Iran, Iran-aligned groups in Iraq, Lebanon and our regional partners. We aim to clarify that our military actions do not signal a change in our approach to the Israel-Hamas conflict, and we have no intentions of escalating conflict in the region. Our commitment to self-defense and the protection of U.S. personnel remains the same,” the senior defense official said.
Regarding the attacks by the two F-15s yesterday against a weapons storage facility, Deputy Pentagon Press Secretary Sabrina Singh, who held a news conference today, said that the damage from the battle is still being assessed, but it is known that multiple secondary explosions occurred following the strike.
If attacks by Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps and affiliated groups continue, the U.S. reserves the right to defend its troops by taking further measures at a time and place of its choosing, she said.
Between Oct. 17 and today, 56 U.S. personnel have been injured by these attacks in Syria and Iraq. The injuries are a combination of traumatic brain injury and minor injuries, she said, adding that all have been treated and returned to duty.