US Bombs Iranian Proxy Forces In Syria Hours After Iranian Foreign Minister Threatens US In UN Speech

The U.S. military launched airstrikes early Friday on two locations in eastern Syria linked to Iran’s Revolutionary Guard Corps, the Pentagon said, in retaliation for a slew of drone and missile attacks against U.S. bases and personnel in the region that began early last week…

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S troops have been attacked several times this month in Iraq and Syria; until this evening those attacks have gone unanswered by the Biden Administration. About two dozen troops have been injured in those attacks. An independent contractor died from a heart attack during one assault. 

Information about the specific targets and other details have not yet been released.

According to the Pentagon, there have been at least 12 attacks on U.S. bases and personnel in Iraq and four in Syria since Oct. 17. Air Force Brig. Gen. Pat Ryder said 21 U.S. personnel were injured in two of those assaults that used drones to target al-Asad Airbase in Iraq and al-Tanf Garrison in Syria.

Earlier Thursday Iranian Foreign Minister Amir-Abdollahian threatened the United States while speaking on U.S. soil in New York City at the United Nations:

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“…Shows that we have always supported peace and security. But today in New York, and the United Nations, I say frankly to the American statesmen, who are now managing the genocide in Palestine, that we do not welcome to expansion of the war in the region. But, I warn, if the genocide in Gaza continues, they will not be spared from this fire. It is our home. And West Asia is our region. We do not compromise with any party and any side. And we have no reservations when it comes to our home’s security. The genocide in Gaza must stop immediately. The forced displacement of the people of Gaza must be stopped immediately. Today Gaza is waiting for urgent and vital humanitarian aid. According to international law, the Palestinian liberation movement Hamas is fighting the occupation and has a legitimate right. Mr. President, according to our negotiations Hamas is ready to release civilian prisoners. On the other hand, the world should support the release of six thousand Palestinians being held in Israeli prisons.”

Speaking in Farsi, Amir-Abdollahian said Iran was working with Hamas for Iran to take custody of the non-military hostages as part of negotiations invovling Iran, Turkey and Qatar as mediators to get the release of 6,000 Palestinians being held by Israel:

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The U.S. strikes come just hours after Iranian Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian threatened the United States in English over the Hamas-Israel war in a speech given at the United Nations in New York City.

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Senator Rick Scott (R-FL) called on Joe Biden to revoke the visa for Amir-Abdollahian and kick him out of the country for his threatening remarks, “.@POTUS: Revoke his visa now. He is not welcome in America. The United States cannot tolerate threats to our nation from terror-sponsors.”

UPDATE: A senior defense official briefed reporters on the U.S. strikes, saying their were intended to send a message to Iran to tell its proxies to stop their attacks on U.S. troops. The official said 2 F-16s carried out the mission on two bases used by the IRGC and their proxies. No casualty assessment has been released. It is not known whether any Iranian personnel were at the IRGC bases. The strikes were not coordinated with Israel and was not directly related to the Hamas-Israel War.

ABC’s Matt Seyler: “NEW from a senior military official: US struck a weapon storage area and an ammunition storage site using precision munitions launched via F-16. The official confirmed the attack sites were Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps-affiliated facilities, saying, “the people that occupy these locations are Iranian-aligned militia groups as well as IRGC personnel,” but not whether any Iranians were present at the time….”We hit exactly what we were aiming at,” the senior military official said…A separate senior defense official said “Iran is the center of gravity for what we’re seeing” regarding attacks on US forces in Iraq and Syria. “Iranian fingerprints are all over this.”…More from SDO on Iranian culpability for proxies in Iraq/Syria attacking US troops: “Iran is trying to hide its hand and maintain some level of deniability, and we are not allowing that to happen. We hold Iran accountable for the actions of groups that it’s trained and equipped.”

VOA’s Jeff Seldin: “Strikes carried out by 2 US F-16s, per the senior US military official…US now says 19 attacks have been carried out vs US troops since October 17 – w/3 new attacks today…US strikes were carried out within the last 1.5 hours, per senior US military official, pressed on casualties “We’ll let the dust settle” per the official, noting “there were people on the target at various points during the day. Again we know that they were not civilians”…”#Iran might see them as linked [to #Israel]-That’s up to Iran” per senior US defense official on #Friday’s US airstrikes vs #IRGC-linked weapons/ammo facilities in #Syria “What we want is for Iran to take a very specific action to direct its militias & proxies to stand down”…Which #Iran-linked groups were hit-“They have certain names one day, another name another day” per senior US defense official “The main message is that it all goes back to #Tehran…#Tehran & #Iran|ian senior leaders are funding arming, equipping, training & directing a whole plethora of militia groups across the region” per senior US defense official “And they have escalated attacks against US forces…which is why we took self-defense action tonight.”

Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin announced Thursday night the U.S. launched attacks on two bases in Syria used by Iranian proxy forces to attack American troops based in Syria and Iraq.

Statement by Secretary Of Defense Austin:

Oct. 26, 2023

Today, at President Biden’s direction, U.S. military forces conducted self-defense strikes on two facilities in eastern Syria used by Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) and affiliated groups. These precision self-defense strikes are a response to a series of ongoing and mostly unsuccessful attacks against U.S. personnel in Iraq and Syria by Iranian-backed militia groups that began on October 17. As a result of these attacks, one U.S. citizen contractor died from a cardiac incident while sheltering in place; 21 U.S. personnel suffered from minor injuries, but all have since returned to duty. 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 not tolerate such attacks and will defend itself, its personnel, and its interests.

The United States does not seek conflict and has no intention nor desire to engage in further hostilities, but these Iranian-backed attacks against U.S. forces are unacceptable and must stop. Iran wants to hide its hand and deny its role in these attacks against our forces. We will not let them. If attacks by Iran’s proxies against U.S. forces continue, we will not hesitate to take further necessary measures to protect our people.

These narrowly tailored strikes in self-defense were intended solely to protect and defend U.S. personnel in Iraq and Syria. They are separate and distinct from the ongoing conflict between Israel and Hamas, and do not constitute a shift in our approach to the Israel-Hamas conflict. We continue to urge all state and non-state entities not to take action that would escalate into a broader regional conflict.

The Pentagon, meanwhile, has beefed up air defenses in the region to protect U.S. forces. The U.S. has said it is sending several batteries of Patriot missile systems, a Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) battery and additional fighter jets.✪

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