The US military attacked two facilities in eastern Syria used by Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) and affiliated groups, Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin said on Thursday.
“The self-defense precision strikes are a response to a series of ongoing and mostly unsuccessful attacks on US personnel in Iraq and Syria by Iranian-backed militia groups that began on October 17,” he said in a statement.
A U.S. citizen contractor died from a cardiac incident during one of those attacks, and 21 U.S. service members suffered “minor injuries, but all returned to duty,” Austin said.
The strikes in Syria come on the heels of a warning Thursday from President Joe Biden to Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei against attacks on U.S. troops, the White House said.
“A direct message was conveyed. That’s as far as I’m going to go,” National Security Council spokesman John Kirby told reporters, declining to comment on how the message was delivered.