US Troops in Syria Under Fire As Attacks Ramp Up
At Least Four Attacks Confirmed as Region Comes Under Fire
US troops based in Syria have been targeted in at least four separate attacks since the latest US airstrikes were carried out in eastern Syria, according to a report by Task & Purpose. The Pentagon announced on Sunday that it had launched strikes against facilities used by Iran's Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) and Iran-affiliated groups in Deir Ezzor province.
These airstrikes mark the third round of US attacks in response to a series of attacks on American troops in Iraq and Syria, following President Biden's support for Israel's war in Gaza.
A Pentagon official stated that US forces in Syria were attacked three times on Sunday after the airstrikes, with another attack occurring on Monday. Despite the White House's claim that the airstrikes were intended to deter further attacks on US troops, it is evident that the strategy has not been successful.
The British-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights reported six attacks on US forces on Monday alone, although this information has not been confirmed. The four incidents confirmed by US officials bring the total number of attacks on US bases in Iraq and Syria to 52 since October 17. The Pentagon has acknowledged that at least 56 US troops have been wounded in these attacks.
The Islamic Resistance of Iraq, an umbrella group of Shia militias, has claimed responsibility for the majority of the attacks on US forces. Militia leaders have stated that they will not halt their actions until Israel's offensive in Gaza comes to an end. While Iran supports the Shia militias operating in the region, it denies any involvement in the attacks on US forces.
At the time of this report, the US has approximately 2,500 troops stationed in Iraq and 900 in Syria, where they provide support to the Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF). However, the presence of US military personnel in both countries is met with opposition. The government in Damascus opposes the occupation of eastern Syria by US forces, while many in Iraq also object to the continued US military presence.
The ongoing attacks on US troops in the region highlight the complex and volatile situation in the Middle East. As tensions remain high, the US will face continued challenges in its efforts to maintain stability and protect its personnel.