U.S. Central Command on Thursday released a video showing the moment U.S. forces carried out a second set of strikes against Iranian-backed fighters in Syria less than 24 hours after they once again attacked American forces in the region.
The video did not contain any sound but black and white imagery showed U.S. missiles hitting targets where Iranian-backed militants were located with AH-64 Apache attack helicopters, AC-130 gunships and M777 artillery, defense officials confirmed Thursday.
The strike resulted in “four enemy fighters killed and seven enemy rocket launchers destroyed,” a U.S. CENTCOM statement said.
“We will respond appropriately and proportionally to attacks on our servicemembers,” Gen. Michael Kurilla, commander of U.S. CENTCOM said. “No group will strike at our troops with impunity. We will take all necessary measures to defend our people.”
Defense officials said the strike in Syria – the second within a 24-hour period – was a direct response to two rocket attacks levied by Iranian-backed militants at compounds housing American troops Wednesday.
Three U.S. service members suffered minor injuries in the attack.
The helicopter strike took place less than 24-hours after the U.S. hit nine facilities in eastern Syria that were used by groups affiliated with Iran’s Revolutionary Guard Corps.
Those airstrikes also came in retaliation for an attack on U.S. forces in Syria earlier this month, U.S. CENTCOM confirmed this week.
Undersecretary of Defense for Policy Colin Kahl told reporters that the strikes were a message to Tehran and Iranian-backed forces everywhere that “the United States will not hesitate to defend itself against Iranian and Iran-backed aggression when it occurs.”
The U.S. has continued its fight against ISIS by maintaining a presence in Syria with 1,000 soldiers stationed there.
The U.S. continues to seek a nuclear deal with Iran in an attempt to better secure other areas of concern in the Middle East like Iran’s involvement with the wars in Syria and Yemen.