US strikes Iranian-backed militia sites in Syria for third time 

Credit: US Air Force

The United States (US) carried out two precision air strikes in Syria, targeting facilities linked to Iranian-backed groups as a direct response to a series of attacks on US troops in Syria and Iraq. 

The Pentagon confirmed that the strikes were focused on a training facility near Albu Kamal and a safe house in the vicinity of Mayadeen, close to the Iraq border. These locations were identified as strongholds for pro-Iranian militias. 

“The President has no higher priority than the safety of US personnel, and he directed today’s action to make clear that the United States will defend itself, its personnel, and its interests,” the Pentagon said in a statement released on November 12, 2023. 

The air strikes mark the third time US military have targeted the region since October 26, 2023, in response to continued attacks against US and coalition troops.  

US forces in the region have been attacked more than 40 times in recent weeks, leading to at least 45 wounded service personnel, many with traumatic brain injuries. In one case, a US citizen contractor died from a cardiac arrest while taking cover.     

The US military maintains a presence of 900 troops in Syria and 2,500 in Iraq. Their mission is primarily to advise and assist in preventing the resurgence of Islamic State forces. 

It has recently increased its military presence in the Middle East in response to escalating regional tensions, particularly the Israel-Hamas conflict. This includes the deployment of two aircraft carrier groups and additional fighter aircraft. 

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