United States Forces in Iraq, Syria Under Continued Attack
Thousands of US Troops Are Stationed in the Region
United States forces stationed in Iraq and Syria have come under attack multiple times in recent days, with at least 27 incidents involving drones or rockets, according to Pentagon press secretary Brigadier General Pat Ryder. These attacks have escalated as more U.S. forces are deployed to the region, U.S. federal government linked news outlet Voice of America reported.
Seven of these attacks occurred after U.S. forces carried out strikes on two facilities in eastern Syria early on Friday. These strikes targeted Iran's Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps and affiliated groups in response to previous attacks on U.S. personnel. Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin stated that the strikes were specifically aimed at protecting and defending U.S. forces in Iraq and Syria.
Fortunately, none of the attacks since Friday's retaliatory strikes have resulted in casualties or damage, as confirmed by defense officials. However, the frequency and nature of these attacks raise concerns about the safety of U.S. forces in the region.
The most recent attack took place on Monday, involving multiple one-way attack drones targeting al-Asad Air Base in western Iraq. Another attack on al-Asad utilized rockets, while rockets were also fired at U.S. and coalition forces in two locations in eastern Syria—Green Village and Mission Support Site Euphrates.
U.S. officials have disclosed that a one-way attack drone was used against U.S. forces near al-Shaddadi on Sunday. These incidents highlight the persistent threat faced by U.S. personnel in the region.
In response to these attacks, the Pentagon is deploying an additional 300 troops to the Middle East region. The purpose of this deployment, according to Ryder, is to support regional deterrence efforts and enhance force protection capabilities. Ryder clarified that these troops will not be sent to Israel.
Officials, including Ryder, have attributed these attacks to Iranian-backed militia groups. They assert that these groups receive support from Iran and, therefore, hold Iran responsible for their actions.
The ongoing attacks on U.S. forces in Iraq and Syria underscore the complex and volatile security situation in the region. The safety and protection of U.S. personnel remain a top priority for the Pentagon, which continues to closely monitor the situation and take necessary measures to ensure the well-being of its forces.
Analysts reason that it is crucial for all parties involved to exercise restraint and prioritize diplomatic efforts to de-escalate tensions. The United States, along with its allies and regional partners, must work towards finding a peaceful resolution to the issues at hand, while holding those responsible for the attacks accountable for their actions.
Last month, as tensions surmounted in the Middle East, the U.S. chose to deploy at least 900 members of the US armed services in response to security risk escalations. With additional troops deploying, the US now has thousands of troops in the Middle East. On October 31, Axios wrote that, at the time of their report, 40,000 U.S. troops were stationed in the region.