By: Micaela Burrow, Daily Caller News Foundation
U.S. troops in Iraq and Syria have not come under attack from Iran-backed militant groups since Nov. 23, the day before the ceasefire between Israel and Hamas started, the Pentagon said Monday.
The near-daily barrage of rockets and drones bearing down on bases hosting U.S. and coalition forces since Oct. 17 has subsided, Pentagon press secretary Brig. Gen. Pat Ryder confirmed, according to Military Times. The Islamic Resistance of Iraq, an umbrella organization composed of various Iranian proxy militias that emerged to claim the initial attack, has not claimed any attacks since taking credit for three more on Nov. 23, Thanksgiving Day in the U.S., according to a review of the group’s Telegram channel.
Meanwhile, a ceasefire between Israel and the Hamas terrorist organization began Nov. 24 following negotiations over the release of hostages held by Hamas in exchange for Palestinian prisoners detained in Israel.
Iranian proxy groups have launched one-way attack drones, rockets and mortars at U.S. troops 66 times — 32 in Iraq and 34 in Syria — resulting in some damage to infrastructure and “minor” injuries, according to Military Times. Some of the injuries were traumatic brain injuries, but all troops returned to duty soon after.
U.S. Central Command (CENTCOM) has executed three retaliatory airstrikes on facilities used by the militias or Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) personnel. Counterstrikes are intended to degrade the militants’ abilities to launch further attacks on U.S. personnel, deputy Pentagon press secretary Sabrina Singh said on Nov. 16, three days after the latest U.S. strike.
The Pentagon has maintained that its goal in surging troops and deterrent capabilities to the CENTCOM area of operations is meant to prevent the conflict in Israel from spilling over into the region.
“A stated goal, as I highlighted, is to deter a broader regional conflict. And right now, today, the conflict is contained to Gaza and Israel and their fight against Hamas,” Ryder said at a Nov. 6 briefing.
“What we’re trying to do, is, again, make sure that this does not spiral into escalation — I don’t think anybody wants to see that — while at the same time making sure that we’re protecting our forces, while at the same time making sure that we have options available to us, capabilities, should someone attempt to exploit this situation and broaden this conflict,” he said.
A U.S. warship conducting a rescue operation in the Gulf of Aden early Monday morning did come under apparent attack by ballistic missiles originating from Houthi-controlled territory in Yemen, but did not intercept the missiles. They splashed harmlessly into waters 10 nautical miles from the U.S. warship.