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Strikes Send Clear Message to Iranian-Backed Groups in Syria to Stop Attacks on U.S. Forces

The United States military sent a clear message to Iranian-backed groups attempting to harm Americans based in Syria that their actions must stop, Pentagon Press Secretary Air Force Brig. Gen. Pat Ryder said today.

"It's our assessment that these groups are testing and attempting to see how we might respond," Ryder said in a press availability. "I think, based on the strikes that we have taken, we've sent a very loud and clear message and a proportional message, that any threat against our forces who are operating in Syria, or anywhere, will not be tolerated." 

An aerial view of the Pentagon.
Aerial View
An aerial view of the Pentagon, May 11, 2021.
Photo By: Air Force Staff Sgt. Brittany A. Chase, DOD
VIRIN: 210512-D-BM568-1287R

U.S. military forces conducted precision airstrikes in Deir ez-Zor Syria yesterday in response to the August 15 attacks against American forces in Syria, a U.S. Central Command official said. "The U.S. strikes targeted infrastructure facilities used by groups affiliated with Iran's Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps," Army Col. Joe Buccino, the command's public affairs officer, said. 

Officials estimate that four militants were killed and 10 rocket launchers destroyed. "Centcom forces struck at Iran-affiliated militants in the area with AH-64 Apache attack helicopters AC-130 gunships and M-777 artillery," Ryder said. "Again this was in response to yesterday's rocket attacks against Mission Support Site Conoco and Mission Support Site Green Village in northeast Syria." 

Ryder said the strikes were appropriate and indicated the U.S. determination "to take all necessary measures to defend our people," the press secretary said.  

President Joe Biden authorized the attacks, according to Centcom officials.

Service members interact with Syrian children.
Operation Inherent Resolve
Children of a local Syrian village meet U.S. soldiers assigned to Combined Joint Task Force - Operation Inherent Resolve in March. The soldiers continue to advise, assist and enable partner forces in designated areas of Syria to set conditions for long-term security.
Photo By: Army Spc. William Gore
VIRIN: 220314-A-RX269-0085

The American forces are in Syria as part of the defeat-ISIS mission under Operation Inherent Resolve. The effort has been remarkably successful. The Islamic State once controlled wide swathes of territory in Syria and Iraq. Working by, with and through local Iraqi and Syrian forces a coalition of more than 90 nations helped drive ISIS from power. Now there are remnants in the region, and the U.S. forces are part of the effort to ensure the group doesn't reconstitute.

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