Early March 23, a U.S. contractor was killed and five U.S. service members and one additional U.S. contractor were wounded after a one-way unmanned aerial vehicle struck a maintenance facility on a Coalition base near Hasakah in northeast Syria at approximately 1:38 p.m. local time.
The intelligence community believes the UAV to be of Iranian origin.
“At the direction of President Biden, I authorized U.S. Central Command forces to conduct precision airstrikes tonight in eastern Syria against facilities used by groups affiliated with Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC),” said Secretary of Defense Lloyd J. Austin III. “The airstrikes were conducted in response to today’s attack as well as a series of recent attacks against Coalition forces in Syria by groups affiliated with the IRGC.”
These precision strikes are intended to protect and defend U.S. personnel. The United States took proportionate and deliberate action intended to limit the risk of escalation and minimize casualties.
“As President Biden has made clear, we will take all necessary measures to defend our people and will always respond at a time and place of our choosing,” said Secretary Austin. “No group will strike our troops with impunity.”
“Our thoughts are with the family and colleagues of the contractor who was killed and with those who were wounded in the attack earlier today,” said the Secretary.
Two of the wounded service members were treated on site, while three additional service members and the U.S. contractor were medically evacuated to Coalition medical facilities in Iraq.