The past week witnessed a succession of drone strikes on U.S. military bases in Iraq and Syria, which resulted in injuries to several American personnel, as reported by U.S. Central Command to NBC News recently.
The Pentagon’s verification of the incidents was earlier stated, however, the exact tally of U.S. casualties was disclosed for the first time. The attacks that occurred on the 18th of October produced 20 casualties, mostly minor injuries, due to the intrusion of a minimum of two single-use assault drones at al-Tanf military base in southern Syria.
While one of the invading drones was successfully intercepted and neutralized, all the injured servicemen were capable of returning to their line of duty post such an incident, an update provided by CENTCOM stated.
Notably, there was no considerable damage administered to the military installations. A separate incident on the same day led to four additional U.S. personnel incurring minor wounds amidst two distinct drone attacks targeting the U.S. and coalition forces located at al-Asad base in western Iraq.
CENTCOM reported that the American forces retaliated by shooting down the aggressive drones. However, the wreckage from one of the drones devastatingly resulted in the destruction of a hangar housing smaller aircraft. In an encouraging event subsequent to the incident, all injured personnel were able to make a prompt and successful return to duty.
It’s noteworthy to report the particularly unfortunate event of an American civilian contractor losing his life due to a heart-related episode during a mandatory safety protocol. It was clarified by CENTCOM that this incident was unrelated to the drone attacks.
These strikes form part of a series of escalating tensions within the region, situational dynamics partly steered by the ongoing conflict in Israel. On Tuesday, Brigadier General Pat Ryder, acting as the Pentagon’s press secretary, elaborated further that U.S. and coalition forces had encountered attacks a minimum of ten times in Iraq and thrice in Syria over the preceding week.
The general made an important identification during his statements, positing that the aggressions happened via a combination of one-way attack drones and armed rockets. The attackers’ affiliations, Gen. Ryder mentioned, trace back to Iran and the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps, which are believed to endorse these groups.
In his elaboration of the scenario, he commented that there appears to be an anticipated sharp escalation against U.S. forces in the region in near future. This forecasted rise in aggressive incidents is predicted to be orchestrated by Iranian proxy forces, extending to Iran itself.
Gen. Ryder reaffirmed the unswaying stance of the United States when it comes to safeguarding its forces and interests abroad. ‘The right to defend ourselves is something we always reserve, and we will never hesitate to act when it’s necessary to protect our overseas interests and our forces,’ he stated.