U.S. military says it has carried out a strike in Syria’s Deir al-Zor against infrastructure facilities used by groups affiliated with Iran’s elite Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC).
The military’s Central Command said in a statement that such strikes were aimed at protecting U.S. forces from attack by Iran-backed groups.
The strikes “took proportionate, deliberate action intended to limit the risk of escalation and minimize the risk of casualties,” the command said.
It did not identify the targets or offer any casualty figures from the strikes, which the military said came at the orders of President Joe Biden.
“Today’s strikes were necessary to protect and defend U.S. personnel,” Central Command spokesman Colonel Joe Buccino said in a statement.
Buccino added that the strike was in response to an August 15 attack targeting U.S. forces.
Deir al-Zor is an oil-rich strategic province bordering Iraq that is controlled by Iran-backed militia groups, and Syrian forces that have often been the target of Israeli war planes in previous strikes.
That attack saw drones allegedly launched by Iranian-backed militias target the al-Tanf Garrison used by U.S. forces. U.S. Central Command described the assault as causing “zero casualties and no damage” at the time.
The Iranian Foreign Ministry denied Tehran had any link to sites targeted by the August 23 U.S. strike.
“The U.S. attack on Syrian infrastructure and people is a violation of Syria’s sovereignty and territorial integrity. The sites targeted had no links to the Islamic Republic,” spokesman Nasser Kanaani said on August 24, according to the ministry’s Telegram channel.