The US military forces have carried out airstrikes against the facilities and groups affiliated with the Iranian Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) in eastern Syria.

The same was confirmed by the US Department of Defense (DoD) via a media statement on 23 March.

According to this statement, the precision air strikes were conducted by the US Central Command (CENTCOM) forces in response to the killing of a US contractor by a ‘one-way uncrewed aerial vehicle (UAV)’ attack.

The UAV collided with a maintenance facility on the Coalition base near Hasakah, north-east Syria.

In the same UAV attack, another American contractor and five US service members suffered injuries. 

Out of these five service members, two were treated immediately on site and the other three members along with one US contractor were medically evacuated to nearby Coalition medical centres in Iraq.

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The US claimed that the country’s intelligence community later identified this UAV to be of ‘Iranian origin’.

US Defence Secretary Lloyd J Austin III said: “At the direction of President Biden, I authorised US CENTCOM forces to conduct precision airstrikes tonight in eastern Syria against facilities used by groups affiliated with Iran’s IRGC.

“As President Biden has made clear, we will take all necessary measures to defend our people and will always respond at a time and place of our choosing.

“No group will strike our troops with impunity.”

The US said that the precision strikes were conducted to ‘protect and defend’ US personnel and the forces took ‘proportionate and deliberate’ measures to minimise the risk of casualties.

In a statement, US CENTCOM commander general Michael Erik Kurilla said: “We will always take all necessary measures to defend our people and will always respond at a time and place of our choosing. We are postured for scalable options in the face of any additional Iranian attacks.”

Meanwhile, according to a Syrian Observatory for Human Rights (SOHR) report, the US strikes in the Deir Ezzor region have killed eight Iranian-backed personnel.