President Joe Biden ordered U.S. military forces Tuesday to attack Iran-backed forces in Syria in a series of precision strikes, according to military officials.
The airstrikes were targeted at infrastructure allegedly being used by Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps in the city of Deir ez-Zor, U.S. Central Command said in a statement.
“These precision strikes are intended to defend and protect U.S. forces from attacks like the ones on Aug. 15 against U.S. personnel by Iran-backed groups,” Col. Joe Buccino, communications director for CENTCOM, said in a statement. “The U.S. strikes targeted infrastructure facilities used by groups affiliated with Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps.”
Reuters reports the Aug. 15 incident involved a drone attack on a compound run by a coalition and U.S.-backed Syrian opposition fighters.
Buccino said that such strikes were necessary to protect and defend U.S. personnel.
“The United States took proportionate, deliberate action intended to limit the risk of escalation and minimize the risk of casualties,” Buccino said. “The President gave the direction for these strikes pursuant to his Article II authority to protect and defend U.S. personnel by disrupting or deterring attacks by Iran-backed groups.”
According to the statement, the U.S. does not seek conflict but takes “necessary measures” to defend its citizens.
No casualties have been reported from the strikes.
“U.S. forces remain in Syria to ensure the enduring defeat of ISIS,” the statement adds.
The Obama administration first sent troops to Syria and partnered with the Syrian Democratic Forces, a Kurdish-led group, to fight the Islamic State, according to Reuters. The U.S. has previously struck Iran-backed forces in Iraq and Syria and hit operational and weapons storage facilities.
About 900 U.S. troops are currently stationed in Syria, with most stationed in the eastern region.
However, militia groups with Iran’s support established a foothold in Syria while fighting in support of President Bashar al-Assad during Syria’s civil war, per Reuters.