The US military’s airstrikes targeted Iran-backed groups in Deir ez-Zor Syria, the US Central Command said in a statement. The attacks targeted “infrastructure facilities used by groups affiliated with Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps,” Colonel Joe Buccino, a spokesman for CENTCOM, said in the statement.
“At the direction of President Biden, US military forces have launched precision airstrikes in Deir ez-Zor Syria today. These precision strikes are designed to defend and protect US forces from attacks such as those on August 15 against US personnel by Iran-backed groups “, he said. said, referring to last week’s attack on the Green Village base near the Iraqi border. That attack resulted in no damage or injuries.
Biden, according to the statement, “directed these attacks by virtue of his Article II authority to protect and defend U.S. personnel by disrupting or deterring attacks from Iran-backed groups.”
Buccino told CNN that the US targeted a group of bunkers used for ammunition storage and logistical support by Iran-backed groups in Syria. The US military has extensively monitored a total of 13 bunkers in the same complex, Buccino said, totaling more than 400 hours of surveillance.
The attack was intended to hit 11 of the bunkers, as the US could not be sure that the other two bunkers were free of people, Buccino said.
But shortly before CENTCOM launched the attack, the military waved off two more bunkers because of a small group of people nearby. Ultimately, Buccino said the military attacked nine bunkers in the complex in eastern Syria.
The aim of the attack was to destroy the bunkers, Buccino said, and no one was killed, according to an initial assessment.
“The attack in eastern Syria was a response to attacks by Iranian-backed groups on US forces in Syria on August 15 and demonstrates our determination to defend US forces and equipment,” said General Erik Kurilla, the commander of the US Central Command.
Although the airstrike on the bunkers was in response to the August 15 attack, Buccino said the bunkers were not being used by Iran-backed militias to carry out that particular attack.
The base attacked earlier this month has a “small number” of coalition forces, including US military personnel, an official said. Several of the missiles failed to launch and were recovered by troops from the US-led coalition and the Syrian Democratic Forces. And earlier last week, several drones were repelled in an attack near the At-Tanf base in southern Syria.
At the time of last week’s strikes, the coalition did not say who was responsible for any of the attacks. However, Iran-backed militias in the region have often targeted US forces in Syria and Iraq.
In January, the US military launched strikes in Syria after indirect fire created what a US-led coalition official called “an imminent threat” to troops near Green Village.
The US has about 900 troops in Syria, mostly spread over the At-Tanf base and the country’s eastern oil fields.
This story has been updated with additional details.