US military bases in Iraq and Syria came under attack 27 times since October 17, Pentagon Press Secretary Brig. Gen. Pat Ryder said.
“Since our self-defense strikes on October 26, there have been six additional what I would consider small-scale attacks, three in Iraq [and] three in Syria. Right now we are tracking a total of 27 attacks: 16 in Iraq and 11 in Syria [since October 17],” the spokesman said, TASS reported.
He added that no damage or casualties were reported during the latest six attacks.
Earlier on Tuesday, US Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin demanded to stop attacks on US forces deployed in the Middle East, which he claims were carried out with “Iran’s support”. He also vowed that the Pentagon would take measures if these attacks continue.
The Pentagon reported that at US President Joe Biden’s direction, US military forces had conducted strikes on two facilities in Eastern Syria.
According to the defense secretary, “These precision self-defense strikes are a response to a series of ongoing and mostly unsuccessful attacks against US personnel in Iraq and Syria by Iranian-backed militia groups that began on October 17.”
Biden directed the action “to make clear that the United States will not tolerate such attacks” and will defend itself, its people, and its interests, the US defense chief added.
In his words, 21 US servicemen were slightly injured as a result of these attacks. All have since returned to duty. Besides, one US citizen contractor died from a cardiac incident while sheltering.
Iranian Foreign Minister Hossein Amir Abdollahian has rejected that Tehran had instructed armed groups in Iraq and Syria to launch missile and drone strikes on American troops stationed in the illegal bases in West Asia, insisting that they were acting on their own.
There are roughly 2,500 American troops in Iraq and some 900 in Syria as part of, what Washington claims to be, a fighting force against Daesh (also known as ISIL or ISIS). The US has kept the forces there, although, the Arab countries and their allies defeated the terrorist group in late 2017.
Tehran has repeatedly called on Washington to stop plundering Syria’s national resources and respect the sovereignty and territorial integrity of the Arab country, urging foreign occupation forces and their mercenaries to leave the war-ravaged country.