Iranian proxy forces have continued their hostile activities against U.S. troops deployed in Syria and Iraq, even in the aftermath of last week’s U.S. strikes against two facilities linked to Iranian forces in Syria.
Between October 17 and October 30, U.S. and coalition forces experienced no fewer than 23 attacks, with 14 targeting al Asad Air Base in Iraq and nine directed at the al Tanf garrison in Syria. These assaults have taken the form of one-way attack drones and rocket attacks. A senior defense official emphasized that many of these attacks were thwarted by the U.S. military, thanks to their robust defense systems.
Notably, the United States conducted precise military actions in eastern Syria against two facilities used by Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) just last week. Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin underscored that the top priority for President Joe Biden is ensuring the safety of U.S. personnel and reiterated the United States’ resolve to respond to such attacks while defending its interests.
The specific targets of the U.S. strikes in Syria were a “weapons storage area” and an “ammunition storage area.” These actions were a response to ongoing attacks on U.S. forces in the region, with 21 service members sustaining injuries, albeit not severe, between October 17 and October 18. Tragically, a U.S. contractor passed away due to cardiac arrest when an early warning system detected a possible threat, leading to a scramble for shelter.
U.S. leaders, including President Biden, have made efforts to urge Iran to refrain from escalating the situation or involving itself in the Israel-Hamas conflict. The recent egregious terrorist attack by Hamas, designated by the U.S. as an Iran-supported terrorist organization based in Gaza, caused immense casualties, primarily among civilians, totaling around 1,400 people. The atrocities included massacres of families, civilians being burned alive, torture, sexual violence, and other horrors.
The Iranian Foreign Minister, Hossein Amir-Abdollahian, expressed strong opposition to Israel’s military response in Gaza and threatened involvement in the conflict. Speaking at the United Nations last week, he warned the U.S. of “uncontrollable consequences” regarding its support for Israel.
In response to these threats, the Biden administration has bolstered the U.S. military presence in the Middle East as a deterrent against Iranian aggression. Nevertheless, the continuous attacks on U.S. forces in the region suggest that the administration’s efforts may not be achieving the desired impact.