Biden vows ‘forceful’ response to Iranian attacks on US troops in Middle East

A US base in northeast Syria was attacked on Friday in the second such incident in two days, but the Pentagon said no American troops were killed or injured.

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President Joe Biden said Friday that the US would respond “forcefully to protect our people” after multiple attacks believed to be carried out by Iran-backed groups targeted American forces in Syria.

“Make no mistake, the United States does not seek conflict with Iran but is prepared to act forcefully to protect our people,” the US president said while visiting Canada.

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A US base in northeast Syria was attacked on Friday in the second such incident in two days, but the Pentagon said no American troops were killed or injured.

The missile attack did not cause any damage to infrastructure in what one US official said was “an ineffective attack.”

The United States Central Command (CENTCOM) said that 10 rockets targeted Coalition forces at the Green Village in northeast Syria on Friday morning. No US or Coalition personnel were injured and there was no damage to US equipment or facilities.

One of the rockets missed the facility by almost five kilometers, hit a civilian home and injured two women and two children, according to CENTCOM.

“This kind of indiscriminate rocket attack places not only our forces and coalition forces at risk, but also jeopardizes the local civilian population as well as the security and stability of Syria and the entire region,” CENTCOM Spokesman Col. Joe Buccino said in a statement.

“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,” he added.

US forces carried out a retaliatory strike against pro-Iran targets in Syria on Thursday night following an earlier attack on a different US base, which killed an American contractor and wounded five US service members and another US contractor.

The US has not provided details about its operation other than to say it was conducted in eastern Syria against facilities used by groups affiliated with Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC). “These precision strikes are intended to protect and defend US personnel. The United States took proportionate and deliberate action intended to limit the risk of escalation and minimize casualties,” US Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin said afterward.

“No group will strike our troops with impunity,” Austin warned.

Local media reported late Friday that US forces and Iran-backed militants were engaged in back-and-forth fire at multiple locations inside Syria.

Criticism of Biden

Republican lawmakers voiced their frustration with the attacks on US troops and blamed the US president.

Senator Lindsey Graham said in a tweet that the ultimate blame for the “failing foreign policy and military situation we find ourselves in lies with President Biden.” He later called for attacking Iranian refineries in response. “For every attack against Americans in the future, take down an Iranian refinery and their oil and gas infrastructure. That would send a strong message,” Graham suggested.

Speaking about the 78 Iranian attacks on US forces since 2021, Michigan Congresswoman Lisa McClain said, “President Biden’s weak leadership is putting our servicemen and women at risk!”

Mike Rogers, the House Armed Services Committee chairman, said that the US military would respond “with force” against sides that harm Americans. “It needs to be understood that the IRGC and their proxies are terrorists who seek to harm Americans and undermine our national security and they will be treated as such,” Rogers said.

Read more:

Eight pro-Iran fighters killed by US strikes in Syria: Monitor

Drone strike kills US contractor in Syria; US retaliates

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