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U.S. Launched New Airstrikes Against Iran-Linked Groups in Syria

According to a statement from Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin “U.S. military forces conducted precision strikes today on facilities in eastern Syria used by Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) and Iran-affiliated groups in response to continued attacks against U.S. personnel in Iraq and Syria. The strikes were conducted against a training facility and a safe house near the cities of Abu Kamal and Mayadin, respectively.”

The statement added: “The President has no higher priority than the safety of U.S. personnel, and he directed today’s action to make clear that the United States will defend itself, its personnel, and its interests.”

This was the third U.S. airstrike against such targets in three weeks.

The Hill reported on comments about these matters by Mark Cancian, a senior adviser with the International Security Program at the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS), saying that while the United States “clearly doesn’t want to escalate” the situation, the risks of such an outcome remain. “If there’s a major attack in Iraq or Syria where you have a base overrun, you get a couple of dozen serious casualties, if they fire a missile and it hits a U.S. ship, then I think the United States will get drawn in because it will feel the need to retaliate in kind,” Cancian told The Hill. “A lot of [it] depends on Iran, just how hard they push.”

The Hill added: “It’s largely unknown, however, how Washington would react to a major attack on U.S. troops, with top U.S. officials so far demurring when asked how the country would respond.”