United States: President Joseph Biden issued a warning to Iran on Friday after the U.S. military launched airstrikes on troops backed by Iran in retaliation for an incident in Syria, saying that the US will “act decisively” to defend Americans. Later, officials reported that a second American military member had been hurt on Friday in the latest tit-for-tat exchange between Americans and Iranian-backed fighters in Syria. This is in addition to the seven deaths on Thursday, which Washington attributed to an Iranian-made drone and which also resulted in the deaths of an American contractor, five US soldiers, and a second contractor.
American missile targeted new regions in eastern Syria
According to two local sources, suspected American missile fire on Friday targeted new regions in eastern Syria; no injuries were recorded. Late on Friday, pro-Iranian fighters in Syria declared online that they have a “long arm” to use against more US strikes on their strongholds. As efforts to revive a 2015 nuclear agreement between Iran and major powers have stalled and Iranian drones are being used by Russia against Ukraine, the violence could further exacerbate already tense relations between Washington and Tehran.
Two injured American soldiers received medical help
According to the Military, two locations used by organisations connected to Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps were struck on Thursday by American F-15 jets (IRGC). Eight pro-Iranian fighters were reportedly killed by American strikes, according to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, which tracks the Syrian conflict. The drone attack earlier on Thursday on a site in northeastern Syria maintained by a U.S.-led coalition fighting the last-division of the Islamic State prompted the U.S. attacks. While two injured American soldiers received medical attention on the base, three military members and a contractor needed to be evacuated for medical treatment to Iraq. The Pentagon reported that the injured servicemen were in stable condition on Friday.
Iranian-backed militias frequently launch missiles at American outposts in Syria
After being targeted by airstrikes, Iranian-backed militias frequently launch missiles at American outposts in Syria. U.S. Marines entered Syria for the first time as part of the Obama administration’s fight against Islamic State, working alongside the Syrian Democratic Forces, a Kurdish-led organisation. The majority of the 900 American soldiers in Syria are located in the east. Since the start of 2021, Iranian-backed groups have attacked U.S. troops about 78 times, according to the U.S. military. While Islamic State has lost the territories of Syria and Iraq it controlled over in 2014, sleeper cells still carry out hit-and-run strikes in remote areas where neither the U.S.-led coalition nor the Syrian government hold full authority.