Nineteen Syrian fighters were killed by U.S. air strikes this week after an Iranian drone attack that resulted in the death of a U.S. contractor, and the wounding of five American troops and one other U.S. contractor, according to a UK-based war monitor, the New York Post reports.
The U.S. military earlier this week executed airstrikes in Syria in response to the drone strike by Iranian forces.
The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights reported that the U.S. strikes killed three Syrian troops, 11 Syrian fighters in pro-government militias and five non-Syrian fighters, according to Reuters.
The “precision airstrikes” by American F-15 fighter jets resulted in Iran-backed militants firing 10 missiles on Friday that nearly hit a U.S. base in northeast Syria — but instead hit the house of a civilian, injuring two women and two children, according to U.S. Central Command.
Iranian proxies have carried out about 78 drone or rocket attacks against U.S. troops in the Middle East since the beginning of 2021, when President Biden took office, according to CENTCOM Commander Gen. Kurilla.
United States Secretary of Defense Lloyd J. Austin said the American attacks had to be conducted “in response” to the drone attack and a series of other recent attacks against coalition forces in Syria by groups affiliated with the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps.
“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,” Secretary Austin said earlier this week. “No group will strike our troops with impunity.”
The United States has roughly 900 troops stationed in Syria at this time.