US military carries out strike in Syria on Iran-linked targets

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WASHINGTON – The United States military said on Tuesday that it carried out air strikes in Syria’s Deir Ezzor against facilities used by groups affiliated with Iran’s elite Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC).

The strikes came as the US was preparing to respond to a draft agreement proposed by the European Union that would resurrect the 2015 nuclear deal with Iran, which former President Donald Trump abandoned and current President Joe Biden has sought to resurrect.

According to the military’s Central Command, such strikes are intended to protect US forces from attack by Iran-backed groups.

It cited a drone attack on a compound run by coalition and US-backed Syrian opposition fighters on August 15, which Reuters reported resulted in no casualties.

“The president directed these strikes,” said Army Col. Joe Buccino, a spokesman.

The strikes were described as a “proportionate, deliberate action intended to limit the risk of escalation and minimize the risk of casualties” by Central Command.

The statement about Tuesday’s US strike made no mention of casualties or whether the air strikes were carried out by manned or unmanned aircraft.

This is not the first time that US aircraft have attacked Iranian-backed forces in Iraq and Syria. In June of last year, the US struck operational and weapons storage facilities in two locations in Syria and one in Iraq.

US forces first entered Syria during the Obama administration’s anti-ISIS campaign, collaborating with a Kurdish-led group known as the Syrian Democratic Forces. There are approximately 900 US troops in Syria, the majority of whom are stationed in the east.

However, during Syria’s civil war, Iran-backed militias established a foothold in the country by fighting in support of President Bashar Assad.

Iranian-backed militias are concentrated in Deir Ezzor province, west of the Euphrates, where they receive supplies from Iraq via the Al-Bukamal border crossing.

Source: Arab News

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