U.S. Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin
U.S. Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin

WASHINGTON: US Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin said the military conducted additional strikes on facilities in eastern Syria used by Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) and Tehran-affiliated groups in response to continued attacks against American personnel in Iraq and Syria.

“The strikes were conducted (on Sunday) against a training facility and a safe house near the cities of Abu Kamal and Mayadin,” Austin was quoted as saying in a statement issued by the Department of Defense.

The Defense Secretary added that President Joe Biden “has no higher priority than the safety of US personnel, and he directed today’s action to make clear that the US will defend itself, its personnel, and its interests”.

Sunday night’s strikes marked the third time in three weeks amid a steady increase in the number of attacks on US and coalition forces in Iraq and Syria amid the raging Israel-Hamas war.

On November 8, the two US F-16 fighter jets carried out a “self-defense strike” against a weapons storage facility in eastern Syria used by the IRGC.

On October 26, a US F-15 and two F-16s used precision-guided munitions to strike two facilities linked to Iran-backed militias in eastern Syria.

In total, there have been at least 46 attacks on US forces in Iraq and Syria since October 17, resulting in the injuries of a total of 56 troops have been injured.

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