Syrian-based US site attacked by drones from Iraq – US officials
QAMISHLI, Syria (North Press) – The drones that targeted a US military compound in Syria on Aug. 15 was launched by Iranian-backed militias from Iraq, US officials said.
Last week, a US military command in the Middle East tweeted a map, showing that the attack was launched by Iranian-backed militants and presented photographs of remnants of the Iranian drones.
On Aug. 15, the al-Tanf base came under drone attacks causing fire near the Green Village in eastern Syria. No casualties were reported then.
A military official said the US was certain that Iranian-backed militias were behind the attack.
The Combined Joint Task Force – Operation Inherent Resolve (CJTFOIR) said on Aug. 16 that rounds of rockets were fired towards the Green Village in the east of Deir ez-Zor Governorate, referring to the al-Omar oil field in northeast Syria.
Major General, John Brenna, the CJTFOIR commander, stressed that this “cowardly and unsuccessful attack would not distract the Coalition or its partners from their mission.”
The tweet raised concern in the White House’s National Security Council and the Pentagon, thus they asked that it be removed due to “operational sensitivities in the region,” Brig. Gen. Pat Ryder, the Defense Department spokesman, told The Wall Street Journal.
Concerning the information within the tweet, the US officials confirmed that it is “accurate.”
The tweet also revealed that the drones were launched from Iraq’s Babil province, 25 miles south of Baghdad, in an area controlled by Kataib Hezbollah, a militia known for its close ties with Iran.
However, Kataib Hezbollah denied on Sunday it was involved in attacking al-Tanf.
On Aug. 24, the US retaliated against the attack by carrying out precision airstrikes against Iranian-backed militias in Syria, using by F-15 and F-16 fighters.
Michael Knights of the Washington Institute for Near East Policy said that retaliating the attack in Iraq could change the political game there, while “It is cost free to do it in Syria.”
The goal in posting the tweet was to try to deter future attacks by making it clear that the US was aware of the Iraqi origin, a US official revealed.
There are about 2.500 US troops in Iraq and 900 in Syria.