Drone Attack Kills Six Kurdish-led Fighters at US Base in East Syria

Iran-backed militias accused of launching a deadly drone attack on the largest US military base in Syria, resulting in casualties among Kurdish-led fighters.

A drone attack on the al-Omar oil field in eastern Syria, the largest US military base in the country, has claimed the lives of at least six Kurdish-led fighters. The Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), which controls much of north-eastern Syria, reported that its commando academy at the oil field was targeted in the early hours of Monday. The SDF has blamed Iran-backed militias for launching the drone from an area controlled by Syrian government forces. This attack comes in the wake of US strikes against Iran-backed groups in Iraq and Syria over the weekend. The Pentagon confirmed a rocket attack on its Mission Support Site Euphrates in Syria on Saturday but reported no casualties or damages.

US military base targeted in drone attack

The SDF, which played a crucial role in defeating the Islamic State (IS) in north-eastern Syria in 2019 with the support of a US-led global coalition, stated that six of its commando fighters were killed in the drone attack. The SDF condemned the attack and claimed its right to respond appropriately to the source. The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights reported that seven SDF commandos were killed and 18 injured in what it described as the 108th militia attack on US bases in Syria since mid-October.

Iran-backed militias claim responsibility

An umbrella group of Iran-backed militias called the Islamic Resistance in Iraq (IRI) claimed responsibility for the drone attack, stating that it targeted the US occupation base in the al-Omar oil field. The IRI has been linked to numerous drone, rocket, and missile attacks on US troops in Iraq, Syria, and Jordan since the recent conflict between Israel and Hamas in the Gaza Strip. The group claims that these attacks are in solidarity with the Palestinian people.

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US response and escalating tensions

The US has responded to the drone attack by conducting strikes against Iran-backed groups in Iraq and Syria. On Friday, the US targeted over 85 locations across seven facilities used by the Iran Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) and affiliated militias. The strikes resulted in the deaths of 29 pro-Iran fighters in Syria and 16 in Iraq. The US believes that Iran manufactured the drone used in the attack and that the militias are coordinated by the IRGC’s Quds Force. The US has warned that these strikes are only the beginning of its response to the Jordan attack.

Conclusion:

The recent drone attack on the al-Omar oil field in Syria, the largest US military base in the country, has heightened tensions between the US and Iran-backed militias. The attack resulted in the deaths of six Kurdish-led fighters and has prompted a retaliatory response from the US. As US Secretary of State Antony Blinken continues his Middle East tour, the region remains on high alert, with the potential for further escalation in the conflict. The situation underscores the ongoing challenges faced by US forces in the region and the complex dynamics at play between various actors in the Syrian conflict.