The U.S. military announced Tuesday evening it had carried out airstrikes in eastern Syria that targeted facilities used by groups affiliated with Iran’s Revolutionary Guard Corps.
The military’s Central Command said the strikes in Deir Ez-Zor, Syria, were meant to protect U.S. forces from attacks by Iran-backed groups.
“Today’s strikes were necessary to protect and defend U.S. personnel. The United States took proportionate, deliberate action intended to limit the risk of escalation and minimize the risk of casualties,” spokesman Army Colonel Joe Buccino said in a statement.
The spokesman said the strikes were carried out in response to an attack on August 15 that targeted U.S. forces. Drones allegedly launched by Iranian-backed militias targeted a compound used by U.S. forces. No casualties were reported.
Buccino noted that Tuesday’s strikes were conducted at President Joe Biden’s direction to defend U.S. personnel.
“The President gave the direction for these strikes pursuant to his Article II authority to protect and defend U.S. personnel by disrupting or deterring attacks by Iran-backed groups,” Buccino said. “The United States does not seek conflict, but will continue to take necessary measures to protect and defend our people.”
Central Command did not reveal whether there were any injuries as a result of the airstrikes.
Syria’s state run-media had not acknowledged the strikes as of early Wednesday morning. Iran also failed to acknowledge the attack.
The U.S. military entered Syria in 2015 and backed allied forces in their fight against the Islamic State group.
“U.S. forces remain in Syria to ensure the enduring defeat of ISIS,” Buccino said in his statement.