Pentagon Says Strikes Hit Iran-Linked Targets in Syria

Austin says 'narrowly tailored' airstrikes were response to attacks that injured US forces
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 27, 2023 6:32 AM CDT
US Strikes Iran-Linked Targets in Syria
Pentagon spokesman Air Force Brig. Gen. Patrick Ryder speaks at the Pentagon on Thursday, Oct. 26, 2023 in Washington.   (AP Photo/Kevin Wolf)

The Pentagon says it launched airstrikes early Friday against targets in eastern Syria linked to Iran's Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps and militias it supports. Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin said the strikes were in response to drone and missile attacks on US bases in Iraq and Syria and the action was "separate and distinct from the ongoing conflict between Israel and Hamas," the BBC reports. Austin, who described the strikes as "narrowly tailored," said 21 US service members have been injured in attacks on bases since Oct. 17, reports the Washington Post. A civilian contractor died of a heart attack during a false alarm at a base in Iraq, officials say.

The US "does not seek conflict and has no intention nor desire to engage in further hostilities, but these Iranian-backed attacks against US forces are unacceptable and must stop," Austin said. Officials tell Reuters that two F-16 jets hit weapons and munitions storage facilities in eastern Syria, near the Iraq border. The AP reports that President Biden said Wednesday that he had warned Iranian leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei that the US "will respond" if Iran continues to move against US forces in the region. (More Iran stories.)

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