US airstrikes target Iran-backed militia in eastern Syria

Early on Wednesday, the U.S. military claimed to have conducted airstrikes in eastern Syria that were directed at militia strongholds supported by Iran’s Revolutionary Guard.

The Ayash Camp, which is operated by the Fatimiyoun faction of Afghan Shiite militants, according to opposition war monitors the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights and activist organization Deir Ezzor 24, was the target of the bombings. According to Deir Ezzor 24 and the war monitor, at least six Syrian and foreign fighters were killed in the airstrikes.

Two American sites in that region of Syria were reportedly fired by artillery a few hours later, according to Syrian official television. Unnamed forces supported by Iran, according to Deir Ezzor 24, carried out the assault. There were no early reports of casualties. Iran and the United States did not immediately confirm the strike.

U.S. airstrikes, according to Colin Kahl, the undersecretary of defense for policy, showed reporters that “the United States would not hesitate to defend itself against Iranian and Iran-backed aggression when it happens.”

He said that the nature of the militia assaults and the fact that, according to drone components recovered, “we think we have Iran dead to rights on attribution” for an attack on the al-Tanf Garrison on August 15 were the driving forces behind the U.S. decision to conduct the strikes.

He said that the simultaneous coordinated assault on two American installations at al-Tanf increased worries that “Iran intended to conduct more of this and we wanted to disabuse them of any feeling that that was a good idea.”

Later, according to Syrian state media, artillery had hit two American outposts close to the Deir Ez-Zor oil fields and Koniko gas field. According to the reports, American troops had sealed off the area.

An important province with oil reserves that borders Iraq is Deir Ez-Zor. The region is governed by militias supported by Iran and Syrian troops, who have often been struck by Israeli warplanes in the past.

The biggest oil field in Syria, Al-Omari, was taken from the Islamic State organization in 2017 by Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces, with U.S. support.

Nasser Kanaani, the spokeswoman for Iran’s foreign ministry, released a statement denouncing the American attack “on the people and infrastructure of Syria.” Further, he rejected any connection between individuals who were targeted and Iran. Despite weapons that may be traced back to them, Iran often denies backing local militias who are hostile to American soldiers in the area.

The attacks “took measured, planned action aimed to reduce the potential of escalation and minimize the likelihood of deaths,” according to the Central Command of the U.S. military. Both the targets and the number of casualties from the attacks, which the military said were carried out on President Joe Biden’s instructions, were not mentioned.

According to Kahl, the U.S. first targeted 11 bunker positions at the area, but only nine were actually hit since there was indications that two of the places may be inhabited, and the intention was to avoid deaths.

According to a statement from Col. Joe Buccino, spokesperson for Central Command, “Today’s actions were essential to safeguard and defend U.S. soldiers.”

The Fatimiyoun, which is commanded by Iran’s elite Quds Force of the Revolutionary Guard, has fought multiple fights in Syria, according to the U.S. Treasury.

The Associated Press was informed by Omar Abu Layla, CEO of Deir Ezzor 24, that “the Ayash warehouse is a highly key one for Iran’s fighters.” “We anticipate a response from Iran, maybe in al-Tanf or Iraq.”

Buccino also said that the assault was in retaliation to an assault on US soldiers on August 15. In that assault, the American soldiers’ al-Tanf Garrison was purportedly the target of drones fired by militias supported by Iran. At the time, U.S. Central Command said that the attack had resulted in “zero deaths and no damage.”

The attacks on Deir Ez-Zor were not immediately acknowledged by Syria’s state-run media.

In order to support coalition troops in their struggle against the Islamic State organization, American soldiers invaded Syria in 2015.

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