Iran-Backed Militias Attack US Troops Four Times After US Retaliatory Strikes

Screenshot / Telegram / @elamharbi /

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Micaela Burrow Investigative Reporter, Defense
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Iran-backed groups in Iraq and Syria attacked bases hosting U.S. troops four times after the Department of Defense (DOD) launched a second round of retaliatory strikes Wednesday, according to the Pentagon, media reports and the militias’ claims.

Two U.S. F-15 jets struck weapons depots used by Iran and Iranian proxy groups in northeastern Syria on Wednesday in retaliation for at least 41 attacks on U.S. troops. Since then, the Pentagon confirmed at least four specific drone and rocket attacks on U.S. positions, bringing the total number of confirmed attacks to 46 and resulting in three minor injuries, Pentagon deputy press secretary Sabrina Singh said at a briefing Thursday afternoon.

All wounded service members, now totaling 56, have since returned to duty, Singh said. (RELATED: Israel Announces Daily Pauses In Fighting Amid Biden Admin Pressure)

They included a drone attack on Ain al-Assad air base west of Baghdad on Thursday following a Wednesday drone attack on Mission Support Site Euphrates in Syria on Wednesday, Voice of America first reported, citing a U.S. military official. Multiple rockets were fired at Mission Support Site Green Village, Syria, and on an outpost in Syria’s Omar oil fields on Wednesday as well.

None of the attacks caused any damage to facilities, the official told VOA.

The Biden administration said the strikes should deter further attacks, Reuters reported.

Retaliatory strikes “had a practical impact on their ability to arm these groups, but also to send a strong signal of deterrence,” Kirby told CNN, according to Reuters. “These groups have a choice to make: If they want to continue to attack our troops in Iraq and Syria, then they’re gonna have to face the consequences for that,” he added.

The Islamic Resistance in Iraq, a coalition of Iran-backed militia groups, claimed five attacks between Wednesday and Thursday, including two attacks on al-Harir air base near Erbil and one on al-Assad, according to statements posted on the group’s Telegram account reviewed by the Daily Caller News Foundation.

The group also published footage of one attack on Al Harir and the attack on Al Assad.

Also on Thursday, a joint patrol of U.S. and Iraqi counterterrorism forces was targeted with an explosive device near Mosul, damaging a vehicle, Reuters reported, citing security sources. A U.S. military official later confirmed an improvised explosive device (IED) blew up near the Mosul Dam and said no casualties were reported.

Videos of a fire caused by the attack on al-Harir also emerged.

Iraqi Kurdistan’s counterterrorism service confirmed the blasts set a fuel depot alight, Reuters reported. U.S. coalition forces evacuted the base on Oct. 20, the source said.

The Pentagon did not immediately respond to the DCNF’s request for comment.

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