At least one more U.S. citizen was injured in the attacks on two U.S. bases in eastern Syria. The exact number of injured servicemen from Friday’s attacks is not clear, but five servicemen and one U.S. contractor were injured in Thursday’s attack. The other attack, on a base called Green Village, did not result in any injuries, according to Pentagon Press Secretary Pat Ryder.
The injured service members are in “stable” condition and have been transported to a hospital in Landstuhl, Germany, an unnamed senior defense official told Fox News.
A suspected Iranian drone, struck a maintenance facility on a coalition base in northeast Syria on Thursday afternoon killing the contractor. U.S. troops then launched retaliatory airstrikes against facilities in eastern Syria on Friday that were used by groups affiliated with Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps.
“At the direction of President Biden, I authorized U.S. Central Command forces to conduct precision airstrikes tonight in eastern Syria against facilities used by groups affiliated with Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC),” Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin said in a statement. “The airstrikes were conducted in response to today’s attack as well as a series of recent attacks against Coalition forces in Syria by groups affiliated with the IRGC.”
The main air defense system at a U.S. military base in Northeast Syria was also allegedly not working properly at the time of the initial attack on Thursday. The reason the defensive system was “not fully operational” is not clear, and an investigation into the system failure is ongoing. It is also not clear whether the pro-Iranian forces knew that part of the system was down when they attacked.
Pro-Iranian forces in Syria said in an online statement on Friday that they have the capabilities to respond to further U.S. strikes against them, according to Reuters.
The recent attacks are not uncommon in Syria and Iraq, but fatalities are rare. Gen. Erik Kurilla, the head of U.S. Central Command, told lawmakers on Thursday that there have been nearly 80 attacks against U.S. forces by Iranian proxies since 2021.