Pentagon says eight ‘militants’ killed in Syrian strikes last week

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"The Pentagon has not received any orders with regards to Venezuela," said Pentagon spokesman Eric Pahon Friday evening, according to CNN. (AP Photo)

Pentagon says eight ‘militants’ killed in Syrian strikes last week

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Department of Defense officials now assess that eight militants were killed in the U.S. military’s retaliatory strikes in Syria last week.

President Joe Biden ordered two strikes against facilities that were believed to be connected to Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC), which had just launched an attack that killed a U.S. contractor and wounded a handful of service members.

US CONTRACTOR KILLED AND FIVE SERVICE MEMBERS WOUNDED IN LIKELY IRANIAN-MADE UAV ATTACK IN SYRIA: PENTAGON

Pentagon spokesman Brig. Gen. Patrick Ryder told reporters on Thursday that they now believe “eight militants were killed in our strike against two IRGC Quds Force facilities” near Deir ez-Zor province in the eastern part of the country. He said the six people, five of whom are U.S. service members, who were injured in the initial strike that hit a maintenance facility on a coalition base are in stable condition, as is the one other who was injured in a separate strike the next day.

The militants were associated with the IRGC but were not Iranian, the spokesman added.

An additional six U.S. service members were diagnosed with traumatic brain injuries, and these were discovered during post-attack medical screenings, which is standard procedure.

Pentagon officials, including Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin, have said that they don’t seek conflict with Iran but have reiterated they will absolutely defend their troops if they’re attacked.

“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,” Austin said in a statement last week. “As President Biden has made clear, we will take all necessary measures to defend our people and will always respond at a time and place of our choosing. No group will strike our troops with impunity.”

The Biden administration declined to launch additional strikes following the militants’ retaliation to the U.S. strike.

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Following the U.S. airstrikes, those IRGC-affiliated groups launched ten additional rockets at Coalition forces at Green Village in northeast Syria. U.S. Central Command said no one was injured and that there was no damage to U.S. equipment or facilities.

Gen. Erik Kurilla, the head of U.S. Central Command, told lawmakers last week that there have been about 80 attacks against U.S. forces by Iranian proxies since 2021. He also warned that Iran possesses the largest and most diverse missile arsenal in the Middle East, the most capable unmanned aerial vehicles force in the region, in addition to thousands of ballistic and cruise missiles.

© 2023 Washington Examiner

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