Lolita C. Baldor
WASHINGTON – The United States has carried out an airstrike on a weapons depot in eastern Syria used by Iran-backed militias, the Pentagon said, in response to an increase in attacks on bases housing American troops in the region over the past few weeks. .
In Wednesday’s strike, two US F-15 fighter jets dropped multiple bombs on an arms depot near Maysulun in Deir el-Zour, known to be used by Iran’s Revolutionary Guards, US officials said.
“The president has no higher priority than the safety of American personnel, and he led today’s action to make clear that the United States will protect itself, its personnel and its interests,” Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin said in a statement.
A military official told reporters in a call that the US military had seen people inside the warehouse during the day. The strike triggered secondary explosions, indicating the presence of weapons, but the US believes no civilians were killed and that none of those at the warehouse were linked to Revolutionary Guard or militant groups.
The strike, specifically targeting facilities associated with the Revolutionary Guards, was intended to “disrupt and degrade the capabilities of groups directly responsible for attacking US forces,” a senior defense official said. Both officials spoke on condition of anonymity to provide an assessment of the strike.
The security official said the precision strike was deliberate and designed not to escalate conflict in the region. A deconfliction phone line connecting U.S. troops with Russian forces in Syria was used to alert them of the attack, the military official said.
It was the second time in less than two weeks that the United States has bombed buildings used by militant groups operating under the umbrella of Islamic insurgency in Iraq, which U.S. officials say has carried out at least 40 strikes since Oct. 17. .
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