JERUSALEM, Israel – The Pentagon announced Thursday that the U.S. Military launched retaliatory airstrikes at targets in eastern Syria after an American contractor was killed and 6 others injured, including 5 U.S. service members, in an unmanned aerial vehicle attack on a facility in the northeast part of the country.
Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin said U.S. Central Command forces carried out "precision airstrikes" on installations in eastern Syria affiliated with the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC). The Pentagon said U.S. intelligence sources concluded that the drone which killed the contractor was Iranian-made.
“The airstrikes were conducted in response to today’s attack as well as a series of recent attacks against Coalition forces in Syria by groups affiliated with the IRGC,” Austin said Thursday.
Deir Ezzor 24 said 4 people died in the U.S. counter-attack, while the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights put the toll at 11 dead. Neither count has been confirmed by The Associated Press, and the U.S. has not confirmed any casualties.
Meanwhile, according to the Israeli newspaper Maariv, satellite intelligence photos from an attack in Syria on March 12th show that the strike hit entrances to underground tunnels which housed the materials needed to make surface-to-surface missiles. The attack near the city of Tartus, which was attributed to Israel, reportedly killed 2 members of pro-Iran militias and 3 members of the Syrian military.
Israel typically does not comment on any military activities in Syria or Iran.
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