US retaliatory strikes on what it said were facilities used by groups affiliated with Iran’s Revolutionary Guard Corps in Syria have left a total of 19 dead, according to the UK-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights.
This is one of the deadliest incursions between the US and Iran-aligned forces in years.
The US carried out strikes in eastern Syria in response to a drone strike on Thursday that left one US contractor dead and another wounded, as well as five US soldiers wounded. Washington claimed the attack was of Iranian origin.
The Observatory noted that the airstrikes killed three Syrian soldiers, 11 Syrian fighters in pro-government militias and five non-Syrian fighters who were aligned with the government.
The head of the war monitor, Rami Abdel Rahman, was unable to specify the nationalities of the foreigners. Reuters was unable to independently confirm the number.
The initial backlash spawned a series of “in-kind” strikes. Another US serviceman was wounded, officials said, and local sources said US rocket fire hit more locations in eastern Syria.
President Joe Biden warned Iran on Friday that the United States would “go strong” to protect Americans. Iran has been a staunch supporter of President Bashar al-Assad during Syria’s 12-year conflict.
Iran’s militias, including the Lebanese group Hezbollah and Iraqi pro-Tehran groups, dominate areas of eastern, southern and northern Syria and in the suburbs of the capital.
Tehran’s growing entrenchment in Syria has attracted regular Israeli air strikes, but US air strikes are rarer. The US has been warning about Iran’s drone program.
Source: CNN Brasil
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