US forces in Iraq and Syria have been attacked by rockets or drones four times since the US launched another round of airstrikes in eastern Syria on Wednesday, the Pentagon said on Thursday.
Sources told The Guardian that US forces were targeted in three separate attacks across Iraq on Thursday. The report described the attacks as the “most geographically widespread series of strikes on US assets in a single day since the Israel-Hamas conflict started.”
The Pentagon said since October 17, US forces in the region have been attacked 46 times due to President Biden’s full-throated support for Israel’s campaign in Gaza. A total of 56 American troops have been injured in the attacks.
The leader of Kataib Sayyid al-Shuhada, one of Iraq’s Shia militias, said Thursday that attacks on US forces would continue until there is a ceasefire in Gaza. “There will be no truce with the US occupation in Iraq unless a genuine and binding ceasefire is established in the Gaza Strip,” said Kataib Sayyid al-Shuhada leader Abu Alaa al-Walai, according to Al Mayadeen.
An umbrella group of Iraqi Shia militias known as the Islamic Resistance in Iraq has taken credit for many of the attacks on US troops. The Pentagon says the airstrikes it launched Wednesday targeted a weapons storage facility used by Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) and its affiliates, referring to the Shia militias.
An unconfirmed report from the British-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights (SOHR) said nine people were killed in the US airstrikes on Wednesday. SOHR said the strikes hit military headquarters and a weapons warehouse in eastern Syria’s Deir Ezzor province and killed nine people, including three Syrians, who were “working with Iranians.”
While Iran supports the Shia militias, it has denied any role in the attacks on US forces in Iraq and Syria, and the Pentagon previously acknowledged there’s no evidence that Tehran is directing the operations.