Pentagon Reveals More Casualties From Syrian Airstrikes

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Micaela Burrow Investigative Reporter, Defense
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The Pentagon has revealed additional injuries to U.S. personnel following the tit-for-tat strikes in Syria last week as well as the number of Iran-backed militants killed in retaliation on Thursday.

Six additional individuals have been diagnosed with traumatic brain injury (TBI) following two attacks by Iran-supported forces, one cluster of drone strikes on March 23 at a coalition base near Hasakah in northeastern Syria and a second at a U.S. military site near the Al-Omar oil field on March 24, according to the Pentagon. President Joe Biden ordered retaliatory airstrikes later on the evening of the 23rd that targeted facilities used by Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) Quds Force, which the Pentagon revealed Thursday killed eight militants affiliated with Iran’s elite military organization.

“That was proportionate action, and it was a deliberate action in order to send a message that U.S. forces will not be attacked with impunity,” Pentagon Press Secretary Brig. Gen. Pat Ryder said at a briefing Thursday. “We will continue to take appropriate action at a time and place of our choosing to ensure that our forces are protected.”

Four TBI cases emerged at Hasakh and two in Green Village after the attacks last week, Ryder added. (RELATED: Senate Votes To Overturn Presidential War Authorizations Against Iraq)

Medical personnel on base identified the TBI cases during routine evaluation following traumatic events, Ryder said, and personnel were still being examined at the time of the briefing.

All of the wounded Americans are in stable condition, he added. Two have since returned to duty, one was medically evacuated and the remaining are receiving medical treatment on base, he said.

A drone struck a maintenance facility at a base in northeast Syria used jointly by the American military and local partner forces, killing one American contractor and wounding five U.S. servicemembers as well as another contractor, DOD said in a statement. The U.S. intelligence community initially determined the weapon originated in Iran.

President Joe Biden authorized “proportionate” action in response to Thursday’s attack as well as a series of recent attacks against the U.S. and coalition partners in the area, according to DOD.

The Pentagon said in a statement the retaliatory strikes at the two IRGC facilities constituted “proportionate and deliberate action intended to limit the risk of escalation and minimize casualties.”

The adversary’s casualties included individuals affiliated with the IRGC, but they were not Iranian, Ryder said.

Subsequently, 10 rockets targeted Green Village, where some of the roughly 900 troops the U.S. has stationed in Syria reside, causing no damage to personnel or facilities, on Friday, according to a statement.

President Joe Biden warned Iran against escalating tit-for-tat aggresion against U.S. forces in Syria on Friday, CNN reported.

The U.S. will continue to take proportionate action, including use of force, to combat a “pattern of Iranian and Iran-backed attacks” and convince Tehran to deescalate, Ryder said Thursday.

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