At around 1:38 p.m. local time in northeast Syria on Thursday, a one-way unmanned aerial vehicle hit a maintenance facility on a Coalition base near Hasakah, resulting in the death of a U.S. contractor and injuries to five U.S. service members and one other U.S. contractor.
Comments from the Secretary of Defense
According to a Department of Defense press release, UAV is assessed to be of Iranian origin.
“At the direction of President 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),” said Secretary of Defense Lloyd J. Austin III. “The airstrikes were conducted in response to today’s attack as well as a series of recent attacks against Coalition forces in Syria by groups affiliated with the IRGC.”
The aim of these precise attacks is to safeguard and support U.S. personnel. The U.S. carried out measured and intentional actions, with the goal of reducing the chance of further conflict escalation and keeping casualties to a minimum.
“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,” said Secretary Austin. “No group will strike our troops with impunity.”
“Our thoughts are with the family and colleagues of the contractor who was killed and with those who were wounded in the attack earlier today,” said the Secretary.
Two of the injured service members received medical attention onsite, while three other service members and the U.S. contractor were transported to Coalition medical facilities in Iraq for further treatment.
Statement from the CENTCOM Commander
CENTCOM Commander, General Michael “Erik” Kurilla further commented on the attack,
“This evening, we responded to an attack on our forces that killed an American contractor and wounded our troops and another American contractor by striking facilities used by groups affiliated with Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps. This was another in a series of attacks on our troops and partner forces.”
“We will always take all necessary measures to defend our people and will always respond at a time and place of our choosing. We are postured for scalable options in the face of any additional Iranian attacks.
“The thoughts and prayers of US Central Command are with the Family of our contractor killed and with our wounded servicemembers and contractor.
“Our troops remain in Syria to ensure the enduring defeat of ISIS, which benefits the security and stability of not only Syria, but the entire region.”