American and anti-ISIS coalition forces in northeastern Syria were attacked at least four times over the past 24 hours, including three rocket and drone strikes on Sunday night, a U.S. military official told Reuters on Monday. The attacks were almost certainly launched by Iranian proxy forces.
According to Reuters’ source, the heaviest attack came on Monday morning, when “multiple drones” were launched against the Rumalyn Landing Zone, a compound that Iranian proxy forces have harassed with rocket and drone fire numerous times over the past few years. One of the attacking drones on Monday was shot down, while another damaged four tents at the compound.
U.S. troops reportedly intercepted two suicide drones before reaching other targets in Syria on Sunday. Multiple rockets were also fired at soldiers in Mission Support Site Euphrates. U.S. officials said there were no casualties from any of the attacks and no significant damage beyond the above-mentioned tents.
Monday morning’s assault brought the number of attacks against U.S. and Coalition forces in Syria since October up to 28, plus 24 attacks in Iraq. At least 56 service members have been injured, 25 of them with traumatic brain injuries (TBI).
The spate of attacks on Sunday night and Monday morning followed the third retaliatory airstrike ordered by the Biden administration since mid-October. U.S. forces hit two sites in Syria linked to Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) on Sunday, including a training facility near Abu Kamal and a safe house near Mayadin.
A U.S. official told CNN on Tuesday that the Abu Kamal training camp was “believed to be functioning as a logistics and weapons storage facility,” while the structure targeted in Mayadin was “assessed to be functioning as a headquarters facility for IRGC-affiliated groups in the area.”
“This operation was intended to disrupt and degrade the freedom of action and capabilities of IRGC and affiliated forces directly responsible for attacking U.S. forces,” the official said. The spate of militia attacks over the ensuing 24 hours would appear to be a signal that those forces are still capable of hostile action.
“The United States does not seek conflict and has no desire to engage in further hostilities, but these Iran-backed attacks against U.S. forces are unacceptable and must stop. We specifically targeted IRGC-associated facilities to make clear to Iran that we will hold them responsible for these attacks against U.S. forces,” the official said.