POLITICS + GOVERNMENT

US strikes 2 facilities linked to Iranian-backed militias in Syria

Oct 27, 2023, 8:00 AM | Updated: Nov 30, 2023, 5:36 pm

A photo of the pentagon...

The US carried out airstrikes targeting two facilities linked to Iranian-backed militias in eastern Syria, according to a statement from Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin, following a series of drone and rocket attacks against US forces in the region. (Daniel Slim/AFP/Getty Images/FILE)

(Daniel Slim/AFP/Getty Images/FILE)

Washington (CNN) — The US carried out airstrikes targeting two facilities linked to Iranian-backed militias in eastern Syria on Thursday, according to a statement from Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin, following a series of drone and rocket attacks against US forces in the region.

The statement said the facilities have been used by Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) and affiliated groups.

Austin described the strikes, which were ordered by President Joe Biden, as “narrowly tailored in self-defense” and emphasized they are separate from the ongoing conflict in Gaza. He directly accused Iran of having a role in the attacks on US forces, saying in the statement, “Iran wants to hide its hand and deny its role in these attacks against our forces. We will not let them.” Austin also promised further strikes if the attacks by Iran’s proxies continue.

The Biden administration has carried out strikes against militias before, but at a time of enormous tension, the US is looking to send a strong message to Iran and the militias not to escalate their attacks and spark a wider conflict in the Middle East. The region is on edge as the Israel-Hamas war, which was triggered by Hamas’ brutal terror attack on October 7, continues.

Earlier Thursday, the US announced it is deploying about 900 troops to the Middle East – with the potential for many more. The US has also moved two carrier strike groups to the eastern Mediterranean Sea and an amphibious ready group closer to Israel in the waters of the Middle East.

The US strikes follow a growing number of attacks against US forces in Iraq and Syria since October 17. As of Thursday afternoon, US forces had come under attack at least 12 separate times in Iraq and four separate times in Syria, resulting in 21 US service members suffering injuries. The Pentagon said the injuries were all minor and that the troops have returned to duty. One US civilian contractor suffered a fatal heart attack as a result of a false alarm at one of the bases in Iraq.

On Wednesday, Biden issued a strong warning to Iran about its proxies attacking US forces in the region. “My warning to the ayatollah was that if they continued to move against those troops, we will respond, and they should be prepared.” Biden also said the presence of US troops in Iraq and Syria is focused on the campaign to defeat ISIS and is not related to the ongoing conflict in Israel.

But Iranian Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian did not attempt to tamp down the tensions Thursday at an emergency session of the UN General Assembly, stating that the US “will not be spared from this fire” if the war in Gaza doesn’t end. Earlier this week, the minister had said that Iran had received two messages from the US, though he would not say how or when the messages were delivered. The first message said the US was not interested in a wider expansion of the conflict, he said, while the second urged Iran and its partners to have self-restraint.

The last known US strike against Iranian-backed militias in the region occurred in March, when the military struck a facility it said was used by groups affiliated with Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps. It followed a similar series of drone and rocket attacks against US facilities in the region.

Pentagon press secretary Brig. Gen. Pat Ryder said Thursday that the US “will always reserve the right to self-defense” and that if the US chooses to retaliate for the drone and rocket attacks, it would be “at a time and place of our choosing.”

In the face of an increased threat of attack, the Defense Department is rushing additional air defenses to the Middle East. Those systems include a THAAD battery, which is a medium-range air defense system, long-range Patriot batteries, and short-range Avenger air defense systems. The Pentagon declined to say exactly when they would arrive or where they would be stationed.

The US is also providing two Iron Dome air defense systems to Israel for its own needs.

This story is breaking and will be updated.

The-CNN-Wire
™ & © 2023 Cable News Network, Inc., a Warner Bros. Discovery Company. All rights reserved.

We want to hear from you.

Have a story idea or tip? Send it to the KSL NewsRadio team here.

Politics + Government

gabby petito shown, her death inspired a law meant to prevent other domestic violence deaths...

Heather Peterson

“Gabby Petito Act” signed into law in Florida

The "Gabby Petito Act" is similar to a law adopted in Utah last year.

19 hours ago

Lt. Gov. Deidre Henderson...

Daniel Woodruff

New Utah school safety law earns praise from victims’ families, but cost concerns persist

Lt. Gov. Deidre Henderson ceremonially signed HB84 into law during an event Wednesday at the University of Utah.

1 day ago

Ukrainian Ambassador to the U.S, Oksana Markarova, speaking with different Utah leaders while visit...

BY ERIN COX KSLTV.com

Ambassador of Ukraine to U.S. meets with Utah state and church leaders

For the first time, Oksana Markarova, Ukrainian Ambassador to the US, paid Utah a visit. It’s a connection that’s been years in the making.

1 day ago

former slc mayor ted wilson...

Tammy Kikuchi

Former SLC Mayor Ted Wilson dies at 84

Ted Wilson served as the mayor of Salt Lake City in the 70s and 80s.

2 days ago

speaker of the house mike johnson shown,...

ERIC TUCKER and FARNOUSH AMIRI

Bill to reauthorize key US spy tool blocked by conservative revolt

The breakdown comes months after a similar process to reform and reauthorize the surveillance program fell apart before it even reached the House floor.

2 days ago

subscriptions...

Curt Gresseth

New Utah law targets auto-renewal subscriptions

A new Utah law says companies now have between 30 and 60 days to notify subscribers of their upcoming automatic renewal.

3 days ago

Sponsored Articles

...

Live Nation Concerts

Artists coming to Utah First Credit Union Amphitheatre (formerly USANA Amp) this summer

Summer concerts are more than just entertainment; they’re a celebration of life, love, and connection.

Mother and cute toddler child in a little fancy wooden cottage, reading a book, drinking tea and en...

Visit Bear Lake

How to find the best winter lodging in Bear Lake, Utah

Winter lodging in Bear Lake can be more limited than in the summer, but with some careful planning you can easily book your next winter trip.

Happy family in winter clothing at the ski resort, winter time, watching at mountains in front of t...

Visit Bear Lake

Ski more for less: Affordable ski resorts near Bear Lake, Utah

Plan your perfect ski getaway in Bear Lake this winter, with pristine slopes, affordable tickets, and breathtaking scenery.

front of the Butch Cassidy museum with a man in a cowboy hat standing in the doorway...

Bear Lake Convention and Visitors Bureau

Looking Back: The History of Bear Lake

The history of Bear Lake is full of fascinating stories. At over 250,000 years old, the lake has seen generations of people visit its shores.

silhouette of a family looking over a lake with a bird in the top corner flying...

Bear Lake Convention and Visitors Bureau

8 Fun Activities To Do in Bear Lake Without Getting in the Water

Bear Lake offers plenty of activities for the whole family to enjoy without having to get in the water. Catch 8 of our favorite activities.

Wellsville Mountains in the spring with a pond in the foreground...

Wasatch Property Management

Advantages of Renting Over Owning a Home

Renting allows you to enjoy luxury amenities and low maintenance without the long-term commitment and responsibilities of owning a home.

US strikes 2 facilities linked to Iranian-backed militias in Syria