The US military on Wednesday conducted an air strike on a weapons storage facility in eastern Syria used by Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) and affiliated groups, the Pentagon said.
“This precision self-defense strike is a response to a series of attacks against US personnel in Iraq and Syria by IRGC-Quds Force affiliates,” Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin said in a statement quoted by CNN.
“The President has no higher priority than the safety of US personnel, and he directed today’s action to make clear that the United States will defend itself, its personnel, and its interests,” added Austin.
Wednesday’s strike comes amid heightened tensions in the region as the war between Israel and Hamas continues.
It marks the second time in several weeks that the US has struck facilities in Syria used by Iran. In late October, President Joe Biden ordered strikes on two facilities in Syria used by the Iranian Revolutionary Guard and groups supported by Tehran.
Those strikes came days after US officials confirmed that American troops stationed in the Middle East have been attacked 13 times in one week by suicide drones and rockets.
Biden has several times warned Iran not to attack US troops in the region, including in a speech in which he warned Iran not to take advantage of the fighting between Israel and Hamas.
"Let me say again, any country, any organization, anyone thinking of taking advantage of this situation, I have one word: Don’t. Don’t,” Biden said.
The President later repeated this warning in an interview with CBS’ “60 Minutes”.