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US carries out two airstrikes against Iran-aligned groups in Syria, official says

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Nov 12 (Reuters) – The United States carried out two airstrikes in Syria on Sunday against Iran and its allied groups, the Pentagon said, in its latest response to a series of attacks against U.S. forces in Syria and Iraq.

In a statement, US Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin said the strikes targeted a training center near the town of Albu Kamal and a safe house near the town of Mayadeen. He said President Joe Biden ordered the strikes.

“The President has no higher priority than the safety of American personnel, and he ordered today’s action to make clear that the United States will defend itself, its personnel and its interests. ” Austin said in a statement.

Local sources also said the strikes targeted a camp run by pro-Iranian militias in an area west of Albou Kamal, in Deir al Zor province. The other strike took place near a bridge near the town of Mayadeen, near the Iraqi border and stronghold of pro-Iranian militias, the sources said.

The strike is the third since October 26 as the United States attempts to quell successive waves of drone and rocket attacks against American troops in Syria and Iraq, sparked by the war between Israel and Hamas.

Iran and its supporters say the United States shares responsibility for Israel’s declared war against the Palestinian militant group Hamas, also backed by Iran.

U.S. and coalition troops have been attacked at least 40 times in Iraq and Syria by Iranian-backed forces in recent weeks. At least 45 American soldiers suffered head trauma or minor injuries.

The United States has 900 troops in Syria and another 2,500 in neighboring Iraq, tasked with a mission to advise and assist local forces trying to prevent a resurgence of the Islamic State, which in 2014 s seized large swathes of both countries but was later defeated.

A U.S. official, speaking on condition of anonymity, said the strikes took place over the past few hours and added that a U.S. investigation was underway to determine whether they killed or injured anyone.

The United States has 900 troops in Syria and another 2,500 in neighboring Iraq, tasked with a mission to advise and assist local forces trying to prevent a resurgence of the Islamic State, which in 2014 s seized large swathes of both countries but was later defeated.

There are growing fears that the conflict between Israel and Hamas could spill over into the Middle East and turn U.S. troops stationed at isolated bases into targets.

The United States has sent warships and fighter jets to the region since the conflict between Israel and Hamas began on October 7, including two aircraft carriers, to try to deter Iran and groups backed by it. Iran. The number of troops added to the region is in the thousands.

Reuters reported that the U.S. military was taking new steps to protect its forces in the Middle East during intensifying attacks by suspected Iran-backed groups, and leaving open the possibility of evacuating military families if necessary.

The measures include increasing U.S. military patrols, restricting access to base facilities and strengthening intelligence collection, including through drones and other surveillance operations, according to officials.

Reporting by Phil Stewart in Soul and Suleiman Al-Kalidi in Amman; Editing by Lisa Shumaker and Sandra Maler

Our Standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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Phil Stewart has reported from more than 60 countries, including Afghanistan, Ukraine, Syria, Iraq, Pakistan, Russia, Saudi Arabia, China and South Sudan. An award-winning national security reporter based in Washington, Phil has appeared on NPR, PBS NewsHour, Fox News and other programs and moderated national security events, including at the Reagan National Defense Forum and the German Marshall Fund. He is the recipient of the Edwin M. Hood Award for Diplomatic Correspondence and the Joe Galloway Award.

Gn world

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