As if the world didn’t already have far too much going on at the moment, the US military has now found itself firing back – literally – after an attack in the Middle East took out several American troops.
The incident comes to us from Syria, and it evolved rather rapidly.
The U.S. military conducted retaliatory airstrikes in eastern Syria on Thursday against Iranian-backed groups after a drone strike targeting a U.S. base in the region killed a U.S. contractor and injured six others, including five U.S. service members, the Pentagon said.
“Earlier today, a U.S. contractor was killed and five U.S. service members and one additional U.S. contractor were wounded after a one-way unmanned aerial vehicle struck a maintenance facility on a Coalition base near Hasakah in northeast Syria at approximately 1:38 p.m. local time,” the Pentagon said in a statement.
Two of the wounded service members were treated on site, while the other four Americans were medically evacuated to Coalition medical facilities in Iraq, officials said. A U.S. official confirmed to ABC News that both contractors were American.
And, wouldn’t you know it: The new Axis of Authoritarianism was involved.
U.S. intelligence assessed that the one-way attack drone that struck the base was Iranian in origin, according to the statement.
“At the direction of President [Joe] Biden, I authorized U.S. Central Command forces to conduct precision airstrikes tonight in eastern Syria against facilities used by groups affiliated with Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC),” Defense Secretary Lloyd J. Austin III said in the statement, issued late Thursday.
The administration characterized the attack rather matter-of-factually.
“These precision strikes are intended to protect and defend U.S. personnel. The United States took proportionate and deliberate action intended to limit the risk of escalation and minimize casualties,” the Pentagon statement read.
“As President Biden has made clear, we will take all necessary measures to defend our people and will always respond at a time and place of our choosing,” Austin said. “No group will strike our troops with impunity.”
The confrontation comes at a precarious time for the global community, with tyrannical nations such as Iran, Russia, China, and North Korea banding together in solidarity and confronting the western democracies of the world with added aplomb.