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Pentagon says it's tracking 27 attacks on US troops in Iraq and Syria

Air Force Brig. Gen. Pat Ryder said 16 of those “small-scale” attacks have been against U.S. targets in Iraq and 11 were in Syria.
Pentagon spokesman Air Force Brig. Gen. Patrick Ryder
Posted at 4:13 PM, Oct 31, 2023

The Pentagon is tracking 27 attacks on U.S. and coalition forces in Iraq and Syria over the past couple of weeks, Pentagon Press Secretary Air Force Brig. Gen. Pat Ryder said during a press briefing Tuesday.

Ryder said 16 of those “small-scale” attacks have been against U.S. targets in Iraq and 11 were in Syria. To his knowledge, there were no injuries or significant damage to infrastructure as a result of the most recent attacks. 

Six of those attacks came after the U.S. launched retaliatory “self-defense” airstrikes on two locations in eastern Syria linked to Iran’s Revolutionary Guard Corps on Oct. 26, according to the Pentagon. 

In the earlier attacks, 21 U.S. personnel were injured from assaults that used drones to target al-Asad Airbase in Iraq and al-Tanf Garrison in Syria, The Associated Press reported. All of the injured personnel had minor injuries and have since returned to duty. 

“Our message is we will take whatever necessary actions to protect those forces to deter future attacks,” said Ryder. 

Ryder emphasized the situation in Iraq and Syria is separate from the ongoing war between Israel and Hamas. He said the U.S. troops in those locations are there as part of ongoing efforts to defeat ISIS. 

Although it seems the attacks on U.S. targets have increased since the start of the latest Israel-Hamas war, Ryder said this isn’t the first time the U.S. military has seen Iranian proxy groups take these kinds of actions in Iraq and Syria. 

The groups behind the attacks are funded, trained and sponsored by the Iranian government, Ryder said, therefore the U.S. holds them responsible. 

Ryder added, “We’ll do what we need to do to protect our troops.”