US Attack on Syrian Army Leaves Several Dead, Occupation Base Bombed in Response

The Cradle

The US airstrikes came in response to a drone attack that killed a US contractor and injured several other troops

The US occupation base in northeastern Syria’s Al-Omar oilfield was attacked with rockets on 24 March, just hours after the US army bombed several locations in the eastern city of Deir Ezzor on Thursday night.

The US bombing was in response to a drone strike on its base in northeastern Hasakah’s Kharab al-Jir military airport, which killed a US contractor and injured several others, CENTCOM said in a statement on Friday.

“This evening, we responded to an attack on our forces that killed an American contractor and wounded our troops and another American contractor by striking facilities used by groups affiliated with Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps,” CENTCOM said.

“We will always take all necessary measures to defend our people and always respond … We are postured for scalable options in the face of any additional Iranian attacks,” it added.

According to the London-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights (SOHR), eleven ‘Iranian-backed militiamen’ were killed in the US strikes. SOHR claims that six were killed in strikes on a weapons depot in Deir Ezzor’s Harabish neighborhood, three were killed in strikes on the Al-Bukamal desert, while two were killed by strikes on the southern outskirts of Al-Mayadin town.

SOHR adds that among the wounded are serious injuries, and the death toll is expected to rise.

“Among the dead are two of Syrian nationality,” SOHR says. However, Iranian news outlet Press TV alleged that no Iranians were killed in the strike. Press TV cited local sources as saying that the strike on the Harabish neighborhood was against a rural development and grain center, not a weapons depot, adding that those who were killed were Syrian military forces.

US strikes have targeted and killed Syrian Arab Army (SAA) soldiers several times in the past, including in April 2018 after an alleged chemical attack in Douma that was attributed to the Syrian government.

The last US strike on alleged Iranian targets in Syria took place in 2022 and left a number of Syrian soldiers dead.

The US military occupation in Syria is illegal under international law and constitutes a clear violation of the country’s sovereignty.

As a result of this occupation, as well as the US army’s continuous looting of Syrian natural resources, attacks against Washington’s military bases in Syria have become regular occurrences.

Despite this, the US has shown no intent to end its presence in the country. At the start of the month, a US general illegally visiting Syria referred to the occupation as ‘worth the risk.’

Rockets hit US military base after airstrikes target Syrian troops

US Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) (L) talks with Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) during a rally with fellow Democrats before voting on H.R. 1, or the People Act, on the East Steps of the US Capitol on March 08, 2019 in Washington, DC. (AFP photo) This picture shows a member of the US occupation forces in Syria’s oil-rich eastern province of Dayr al-Zawr. (Photo by AFP)

A military base housing US forces in eastern province of Dayr al-Zawr has come under a rocket attack hours after the Pentagon carried out multiple airstrikes against Syrian troops.  

Lebanon’s al-Mayadeen television news network, citing local sources, reported that ‏the rockets landed in the vicinity of US-controlled al-Omar oil field at around 11 a.m. local time (0800 GMT) on Friday, causing several explosions.

There were no immediate reports of injuries and the extent of damage.

The attack came hours after the US military launched several air raids against Syrian forces. Washington said it hit the positions of resistance fighters behind a drone strike that killed an American contractor, wounded another and also hurt five US troops.

The Pentagon said in a statement that the attack against US personnel took place at a base near Hasakah in northeast Syria at approximately 1:38 p.m. local time (1038 GMT) on Thursday.

Pentagon chief Lloyd Austin said the US airstrikes were carried out at the direction of President Joe Biden and targeted facilities used by groups opposed to the presence of American forces in Syria.

“The airstrikes were conducted in response to today’s attack as well as a series of recent attacks against coalition forces in Syria,” Austin said in a statement.

Local sources pointed out that the target was not an Iran-aligned military post as the US military claimed, but rather a rural development center and a grain center in Hrabash neighborhood, near Dayr al-Zawr military airport.

Meanwhile, no Iranian was killed in the act of aggression.

A military source in Syria told Press TV that the resistance groups reserve right to respond to the American attack and will take reciprocal action.

The US military has for long stationed its forces and equipment in northeastern Syria, with the Pentagon claiming that the deployment is aimed at preventing the oilfields in the area from falling into the hands of the Daesh terrorists.

Damascus, however, maintains the deployment is meant to plunder the country’s natural resources. Former US president Donald Trump admitted on several occasions that American forces were in the Arab country for its oil wealth.