A military base in southern Syria, where US troops have maintained a presence to train forces as part of a broad campaign against the group Islamic Statewas attacked with drones on Thursday, two US officials told The Associated Press.
One drone was shot down, but another caused minor injuries, said one of the officials, who spoke on condition of anonymity to discuss the matter ahead of an official announcement about the incident.
The incident follows similar drone attacks in recent days against US bases. and the coalition in Iraq amid simmering anger in the region after an explosion at a Gaza hospital killed hundreds of people.
The al-Tanf garrison in southeastern Syria is located in a sensitive spot that militants backed by Iran’s regime often use to transport weapons to the terrorist group Hezbollah.
Syrian opposition activists also said Thursday that a drone strike was carried out against an oil facility in eastern Syria that houses U.S. troops.
Omar Abu Layla, a Europe-based activist who runs the Deir Ezzor 24 media outlet, said three drones carrying explosives attacked the Conoco gas field in the eastern province of Deir el-Zour, on the border with Iraq.
Rami Abdurrahman of the Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, an opposition war monitor, confirmed that five explosions were heard at the Conoco gas field.
On October 5, The Pentagon reported that the US military shot down a Turkish drone gunman who came within 500 meters of US troops in northeastern Syriain an unusual use of force by one NATO member against another.
Air Force Gen. Patrick Ryder, the Pentagon press secretary, called it a “regrettable incident” and said U.S. troops were forced into bunkers for safety while Turkey bombed nearby targets.
Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin spoke with his Turkish counterpart and stressed the importance of close coordination between their two countries to avoid any risk to US forces or to the global coalition’s mission to defeat the militants of the Islamic State in the region, Ryder said.
“The decision was made with due diligence and the inherent right of self-defense to take appropriate measures to protect U.S. forces,” Ryder said, adding that ““We have no indication that Türkiye was intentionally targeting US forces.”.
In March, another drone attack to one US military base in northeastern Syria killed one American contractor, wounded another and injured five US Army soldiers.
“An American contractor died. Five Army soldiers, plus another American contractor, were injured after a Unmanned aerial vehicle hit a maintenance facility at the Coalition base near Hasakahin northeastern Syria,” the Department of Defense said in a statement.
The United States Intelligence Services considered that The attack was of Iranian origin, so he Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austinordered the Army to carry out airstrikes against facilities linked to Tehran.
(With information from AP)