The Pentagon released a statement late Thursday saying the U.S. military had struck two sites in Eastern Syria known to house Iranian-linked forces.
Those strikes come after a series of attacks on U.S. troops in the region from forces linked to Iran.
“Today, at President Biden’s direction, U.S. military forces conducted self-defense strikes on two facilities in eastern Syria used by Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) and affiliated groups,” the Pentagon said in a statement. “These precision self-defense strikes are a response to a series of ongoing and mostly unsuccessful attacks against U.S. personnel in Iraq and Syria by Iranian-backed militia groups that began on October 17.”
President Joe Biden directed the attacks, according to the Pentagon, “to make clear that the United States will not tolerate such attacks and will defend itself, its personnel, and its interests.”
The Pentagon said a U.S. citizen contractor died from a “cardiac incident” while sheltering from those attacks. In addition, 21 U.S. personnel received minor injuries but are back on duty.
“The United States does not seek conflict and has no intention nor desire to engage in further hostilities, but these Iranian-backed attacks against U.S. forces are unacceptable and must stop,” the Pentagon said. “Iran wants to hide its hand and deny its role in these attacks against our forces. We will not let them. If attacks by Iran’s proxies against U.S. forces continue, we will not hesitate to take further necessary measures to protect our people.”
The statement went on to say this incident is separate from the Israel and Hamas war and that the U.S. does not desire a broader regional conflict.