An American contractor was killed and five U.S. service members and one additional U.S. contractor were wounded on Thursday after an unmanned aerial vehicle struck a maintenance facility on a Coalition base near Hasakah in northeast Syria, the Pentagon said. The incident occurred at approximately 1:38 p.m. local time.
The intelligence community assess the UAV to be of Iranian origin.
American forces quickly hit back, the Pentagon said.
“At the direction of President Biden, I authorized U.S. Central Command forces to conduct precision airstrikes tonight in eastern Syria against facilities used by groups affiliated with Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC),” said Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin. “The airstrikes were conducted in response to today’s attack as well as a series of recent attacks against Coalition forces in Syria by groups affiliated with the IRGC.”
The United States intended to limit the risk of escalation and minimize casualties, the Defense Department said.
“As President Biden has made clear, we will take all necessary measures to defend our people and will always respond at a time and place of our choosing,” said Secretary Austin. “No group will strike our troops with impunity.”
Two of the wounded service members were treated on site, while three additional service members and the U.S. contractor were medically evacuated to Coalition medical facilities in Iraq.
The Pentagon did not immediately identify those who were hurt in the strike.