This article was originally published by Tyler Durden at ZeroHedge.
On Sunday the Pentagon carried out a third round of airstrikes against targets in eastern Syria, which US Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin described as “precisions strikes” against an Iran-linked training facility near Albu Kamal and a site near the city of Mayadeen.
“The President has no higher priority than the safety of U.S. personnel, and he directed today’s action to make clear that the United States will defend itself, its personnel, and its interests,” Austin said, presenting the new action as yet more retaliation for the series of attacks on US bases in the region since the Gaza war began.
The Sunday night statement further detailed these targeted facilities were “used by Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) and Iran-affiliated groups” believed behind most of the attacks on US installations in Iraq and Syria.
The day prior, US defense officials had revealed US bases have been targeted 48 times since October 17B, which has resulted in 56 American service personnel injured, albeit with minor injuries.
The first major US airstrikes on eastern Syria occurred on October 27, with the second round following on November 8. The Biden administration had at first touted that these would “deter” further aggression on US troops, but have clearly not, given the missile and drone attacks have only continued.
US officials have meanwhile ratcheted their rhetoric against Tehran, saying the Iranians will ultimately be held responsible, but Tehran officials have denied being behind the spate of attacks.
Of last week’s strikes, a Pentagon press secretary said US airstrikes had taken out an “IRGC-linked weapons storage facility”. This was in response to rockets and suicide drones launched on US bases, which have totaled at least two dozen instances in Iraq and over two dozen instances in Syria.
Prior Fox News map showing installations where US troops are which have come under attack by regional militias…
“If these attacks continue against our personnel, we won’t hesitate at a time and place of our choosing to respond again,” deputy press secretary Sabrina Singh vowed at the time. Defense officials have further said that all or most of the over 50 US troop injuries have been minor and that all have since returned to duty.
The US has had some 1,000 or more troops and personnel in Syria for years. Originally claiming a “counter ISIS” mission, the US “mission” quickly became an oil and gas resource grab – ultimately with an eye toward regime change in Damascus, via suffocating sanctions and diverting of domestic energy. Now there are fears US troops are fast getting drawn into broader conflict related to Israel’s operations in Gaza and against Hezbollah in southern Lebanon.