The Pentagon said the U.S. military carried out an airstrike Wednesday that hit a weapons warehouse in eastern Syria that was used by Iran-backed militias.
Two F-15 fighter jets dropped multiple bombs on the weapons facility near Maysulun in Deir el-Zour, Syria. Pentagon officials said the warehouse was known to be used by Iran’s Revolutionary Guard.
One U.S. official told reporters on a conference call that strike triggered secondary explosions, indicating the presence of weapons at the target, but the Pentagon believes no civilians were killed; any people in the warehouse at the time were tied to the Revolutionary Guard or militia groups, the official said.
The strike was in retaliation for a growing number of attacks on bases housing U.S. troops in the region over the past several weeks.
The strike came days after U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken toured the Middle East with a focus on averting escalation of the Israel-Hamas war, though he cautioned while overseas that the U.S. “will continue to respond to attacks by Iran’s proxies to defend our personnel in the region—personnel who are here in Iraq and in Syria, to help prevent the resurgence of ISIS,” adding that the U.S. “will do what is necessary to…respond to any attacks.”
Since Hamas’ October 7 terror attack on Israel sparked the war, Iranian officials have warned that “new fronts” could open up.
“Naturally with the continuation of Israeli war crimes and the humanitarian siege of Gaza and Palestine, any decision and possibility by other members of the resistance movement is probable,” Iran’s Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian said on October 13.
In a statement following Wednesday’s air strike in Syria, U.S. Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin said, “The President has no higher priority than the safety of U.S. personnel, and he directed today’s action to make clear that the United States will defend itself, its personnel, and its interests.”