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The United States says it has struck two facilities in eastern Syria, claiming they were used by Iranian forces and affiliated groups.
Secretary of Defence Lloyd Austin said the “precision self-defence strikes” were carried out to protect US personnel in Iraq and Syria, and were in response to recent attacks by Iranian-backed militia groups.
The strikes had hit weapons and ammunition storage facilities used by Iranian forces, the BBC reported.
In recent days drone and rocket strikes on military bases in Iraq and Syria have injured a total of 21 US military personnel, according to the Pentagon.
US and coalition troops have been attacked at least 12 times in Iraq and four times in Syria since the conflict between Israel and Hamas began.
American officials attribute the attacks to Iranian proxy groups operating in the region. Iran backs both Hamas and Hezbollah in Lebanon with arms as well as money.
The United States has about 900 troops stationed in Syria, and 2,500 in neighbouring Iraq. On Thursday, the US said they were moving 900 more troops to the region.
Earlier, the White House said that Joe Biden warned Iran against targeting US personnel in the Middle East, via a rare message to Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei.
The US strikes were “separate and distinct from the ongoing conflict between Israel and Hamas, and do not constitute a shift in our approach”, Austin added, as he urged against actions that would escalate into a broader conflict.
By City AM
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