Officials: Iran is behind the drone attack on US-based base in Syria

Officials from the United States believe Iran is behind the attack on the military post in southern Syria last week. This is where American troops are located.

Officials: Iran is behind the drone attack on US-based base in Syria

Officials stated Monday that while the U.S. believes Iran funded and encouraged the attack but that the drones weren't launched from Iran, officials said Monday. Officials claimed that they were Iranian drones and that Iran may have helped their use. They spoke on condition of anonymity so that details not made public could be discussed.

Officials believe that the attack involved five drones with explosive charges. They also hit the U.S. side at al-Tanf garrison as well as the side where the opposition forces are based.

The attack did not cause any injuries or deaths.

Al-Tanf is home to U.S. troops and coalition troops. They train Syrian forces in patrols against Islamic State militants. It is also situated on a road that serves as an important link between Iranian-backed forces in Iran and southern Lebanon and Israel.

John Kirby, a Pentagon spokesperson, declined to give details about Monday's report when he was asked. It was a "complex coordinated and deliberate attack", he said, adding that similar attacks have been seen before by Shia militia groups backed Iran. He refused to give details and said that he did not have any information on the munitions involved in the attack.

Kirby declined to comment on whether troops had been warned in advance or whether the U.S. plans to respond militarily.

Kirby stated that "The protection and safety of our troops overseas remains an important concern for the secretary", referring to Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin. "If there is to be any response, it will take place at a time, a location, and a manner we choose, and we won't get ahead those types of decisions."

Pro-Iran media outlets claim that Tanf was attacked by "Syria’s allies", a reference to Iran-backed organizations, in retaliation against an earlier attack near Palmyra, a historic Syrian town. Although Israel has been accused of the attack, U.S. officials claim that America was not involved.

According to an official from the Axis of Resistance (an anti-West political-military alliance that includes Iran and Syria as well as other groups fighting alongside President Bashar al-Assad's forces), "You can consider the strike on Tanf an implementation" of earlier promises made by Syrian allies.

Al-Tanf's attack occurred during a time of increasing tensions with Iran. Biden's administration said this week that international diplomatic efforts to bring Iran back into negotiations for a 2015 nuclear agreement were in a "critical point" and that patience is running thin.

In January 2020, Iran launched a barrage missile attack on the al-Asad Air Base in Iraq. This was the last major Iranian attack against U.S. forces. The incoming missiles were alerted to the U.S. military and coalition troops and they were able cover but more than 100 U.S. personnel suffered traumatic brain injuries from the blasts.

Iran attacked was in response to the U.S. strike that occurred earlier in the month near Baghdad's airport and which killed Iranian General Qassem Soleimani as well as Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis, the leader of the Iraqi militia.

Two months later, the al-Asad attack was over, five U.S.-backed Shiite militiamen were targeted by American fighter jets.

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