The Pentagon on Friday evening confirmed there were no casualties resulting from U.S. strikes in Syria in response to nearly two dozen attacks against American troops based in Iraq and Syria.
“We currently assess there were no casualties in the strikes,” Pentagon Press Secretary Pat Ryder said in a statement.
Further, Ryder said the strikes were “narrowly tailored” and “in self-defense” 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 the U.S. approach to the Israel-Hamas conflict,” Ryder said.
The strikes were conducted by F-16 and F-15 fighter jets on Thursday against a weapons storage facility and ammunition storage facility used by Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) and affiliated groups, near Abu Kamal, Syria. Both facilities were destroyed, Ryder said.
Sen. Tom Cotton (R-AR) slammed the strikes as weak and could invite more attacks against U.S. forces.
“Retaliation against expendable proxies — especially unoccupied proxy warehouses — merely validates Iran’s strategy to use proxies to attack Americans. They are laughing at us in Tehran. Iran will continue to target Americans until President Biden gets serious about imposing severe costs on Iran,” he said in a statement.
Iranian-proxy forces in Iraq and Syria have conducted 20 attacks against U.S. forces in Iraq and Syria beginning October 17 — just over a week after Hamas launched unprecedented terrorist attacks in southern Israel that killed more than 1,400.
In those 20 attacks, 14 of which were in Syria and six of which were in Iraq, at least 21 U.S. troops received minor injuries, but the Pentagon has cautioned that number could go up if more report injuries later. The groups used a mix of one-way attack drones and rockets.