The decade's most triggering comedy
The U.S. military launched airstrikes against Iranian-backed terrorists in Syria on Thursday night after a U.S. contractor was killed and five U.S. service members and an additional U.S. contractor were injured in an attack by a suicide drone.
U.S. intelligence said that the attack was carried out by a “one-way unmanned aerial vehicle” that “struck a maintenance facility on a Coalition base near Hasakah in northeast Syria at approximately 1:38 p.m. local time.”
The Pentagon said that the precision airstrikes were launched to “limit the risk of escalation and minimize casualties.”
“This evening, we responded to an attack on our forces that killed an American contractor and wounded our troops and another American contractor by striking facilities used by groups affiliated with Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps,” U.S. Central Command later added. “We will always take all necessary measures to defend our people and will always respond at a time and place of our choosing.”
“We are postured for scalable options in the face of any additional Iranian attacks,” the statement continued. “The thoughts and prayers of U.S. Central Command are with the Family of our contractor killed and with our wounded servicemembers and contractor.”
The statement said that U.S. forces remained stationed in Syria “to ensure the enduring defeat of ISIS, which benefits the security and stability of not only Syria, but the entire region.”
Below is a statement from the CENTCOM Commander on the precision strikes in response to American casualties in Syria. pic.twitter.com/MIJeQh1VtD
— U.S. Central Command (@CENTCOM) March 24, 2023
The incident in Syria comes as U.S. and foreign officials have grown increasingly concerned over the state of Iran’s nuclear program. General Mark Milley, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, told lawmakers during a Thursday hearing on Capitol Hill that Iran is “several more months” away from producing an “actual nuclear weapon.”
The scenario has alarmed Israeli officials who in recent months have been increasingly outspoken about the threat of a nuclear Iran and Israel’s determination to act and stop such an outcome. Israeli officials have reportedly warned officials in the U.S. and Europe that Israel will strike Iran if it enriches uranium past a 60% threshold. Uranium is weapons-grade after it is enriched up to 90%.
At the same time, Iran has been bolstered by Russia and China. Russia is reportedly considering supplying Iran with S-400 missile systems, an anti-air missile system that Israel fears could protect Iran’s nuclear facilities from an airstrike. China has helped Iran build diplomatic ties in the region, serving as the middleman for a recent agreement between Iran and Saudi Arabia.
Tim Pearce contributed to this report.