Earlier today, a U.S. contractor was killed and five U.S. service members and an additional U.S. contractor were injured when an unmanned aerial vehicle struck a maintenance facility at a coalition base near Hasakah in northeastern Syria at 1:38 p.m. local time.
The intelligence community estimates that the UAV is of Iranian origin.
“At the direction of President Biden, I authorized U.S. Central Command forces to conduct precision airstrikes tonight in eastern Syria against facilities operated by groups affiliated with Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC),” Defense Secretary Lloyd J. Austin III said. “These airstrikes were carried out in response to today’s attack and a series of recent attacks by IRGC-affiliated groups in Syria.”
These precision strikes are intended to protect and defend US personnel. The United States took proportionate and deliberate action to contain the increased risk and minimize casualties.
“As President Biden has made clear, we will take all necessary steps to protect our people and will always respond at a time and place of our choosing,” Secretary Austin said. “No group will attack our troops with impunity.”
“Our thoughts are with the family and colleagues of the slain contractor and those injured in the attack earlier today,” the secretary said.
Two of the injured service members were treated on site, while three additional service members and a U.S. contractor were medically evacuated to coalition medical facilities in Iraq.