The U.S. military on Tuesday conducted strikes on rocket sites in Syria after “indirect fire posed what a U.S.-led coalition official called ‘an imminent threat’ to American troops,” according to a new report.
“Indirect fire attacks pose a serious threat to innocent civilians because of their lack of discrimination,” the Operation Inherent Resolve official said in a statement, according to CNN. The U.S. troops are stationed at Green Village, a base in the east of the country near the Iraqi border.
The report said “the U.S. is not officially confirming it conducted the strikes,” but added that “a defense official with direct knowledge noted that only US forces in that area have weapons capable of carrying out these kinds of strikes.” The strikes destroyed the seven Katyusha rocket sites that were targeted, CNN said.
The Associated Press also said the strikes “apparently were conducted by U.S. forces, but a statement issued by the coalition did not specify who carried them out. The statement offered few details beyond saying the sites ‘posed an imminent threat in the vicinity of Green Village, Syria,’ and were struck in self defense.”
U.S. troops in the region have been seeing threats from Iranian-backed militias, according to Pentagon press secretary John Kirby. “In just the last few days, there have been acts perpetrated by some of these groups that validate the consistent concerns that we’ve had over the safety and security of our people,” Kirby said at a press briefing Tuesday.
Also on Tuesday, the U.S. military shot down two “suicide” drones as they approached Ain al-Asad Air Base in Iraq, according to the Iraqi Prime Minister’s Office. The attack came just days after the anniversary of the U.S. assassination of Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps Gen. Qasem Soleimani at the same base targeted by Iranian missiles two years ago .
And on Sunday, a region near Baghdad airport where U.S. troops had been was targeted in a failed attack.
Syria, where the U.S. has nearly 1,000 troops, has also been targeted. “In October, a ‘deliberate and coordinated’ attack using multiple drones targeted US forces at the At-Tanf base in Syria near the borders with Iraq and Jordan,” CNN reported.
President Joe Biden last year pulled U.S. troops out of Afghanistan in a disastrous move that drew scorn from members of both major political parties. The long-running mission in Iraq was also pared back, which Kirby said is necessary.
“We don’t stay at this mission … this new mission … with any illusions that our people are under any less threat by these militia groups,” Kirby said. “We’re going to stay focused on that threat as we stay focused on the mission at hand and make sure that we’re doing everything we can to protect our people.”
Joseph Curl has covered politics for 35 years, including 12 years as White House correspondent, and ran the Drudge Report from 2010 to 2015. Send tips to email@example.com.
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