A drone “of Iranian origin” attacks an American military base in Syria, the US military strikes back – and is then shot at again. A clear message comes from Washington.
US President Joe Biden has warned of further attacks after a US citizen was killed by a drone strike in Syria. One does not seek a conflict with Iran, Biden said yesterday after the US intelligence services spoke of a drone “of Iranian origin”. “But be prepared that we will act forcefully to protect our people.”
US media later reported further attacks on US military facilities in northeastern Syria. One soldier was injured, the broadcaster ABC reported, citing an unnamed source. There was initially no official confirmation of this.
US contractor killed
According to the US Department of Defense, an army contractor was killed in the first drone attack on a military base. The US military then attacked targets of allies of the Iranian Revolutionary Guards from the air, whereupon the military base “Green Village” in northeastern Syria was fired with ten rockets, according to the Pentagon. However, no soldiers were injured. According to the US government, it assumes that groups supported by the Revolutionary Guards are also behind the attacks.
The Revolutionary Guards are the elite unit of Iran’s armed forces and far more important than the country’s traditional army. Alongside Russia, Iran is Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s most important ally in the civil war. His government controls about two-thirds of the fragmented country, including most of the larger cities including the capital Damascus. US soldiers were sent to Syria in 2015 to support the fight against the terrorist militia Islamic State (IS), 900 are still stationed there today – mainly in the east of the country.
Agreement currently on hold
Warnings of an escalation of the conflict over the Iranian nuclear program are increasing again. A 2015 deal to restrict Iran’s program from building a nuclear bomb in exchange for the end of Western sanctions was scrapped in 2018 under then-US President Donald Trump. The leadership in Tehran therefore no longer feels bound by its promises and is driving the program forward in its interest. Negotiations to revive the agreement have been on hold for months.
During a visit to Ottawa, Canada, Biden emphasized the drone attack and the US response: “We will continue our efforts to combat terrorist threats in the region.” Pentagon spokesman Pat Ryder made a similar statement: The main focus of the US in Syria is the fight against IS. “But if our forces are threatened, we will take appropriate measures to ensure they remain protected and we can repel future attacks.”
I have been working in the news industry for over 6 years, first as a reporter and now as an editor. I have covered politics extensively, and my work has appeared in major newspapers and online news outlets around the world. In addition to my writing, I also contribute regularly to 24 Hours World.