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Attack hits Syria base that houses US troops; no U.S. injuries

U.S. and coalition troops are based at al-Tanf to train Syrian forces on patrols to counter Islamic State group militants.
The attacks were targeted at a small remote U.S. military base in al-Tanf, Syria.
The attacks were targeted at a small remote U.S. military base in al-Tanf, Syria.Staff Sgt. William Howard / via DVIDS

A military outpost in southern Syria was hit by a coordinated attack on Wednesday, but U.S. officials said no American troops stationed there were injured or killed.

Initial reports said the attack appeared to include two drone strikes and a small number of rockets. One official said one of the drone strikes hit the U.S. side of the al-Tanf garrison, while one may have hit the side where Syrian opposition forces are based.

The officials spoke on condition of anonymity to discuss military operations.

In a statement, Central Command spokesman Capt. Bill Urban confirmed “a deliberate and coordinated attack. Based on initial reports, the attack utilized both unmanned aerial systems and indirect fire.”

“All U.S. personnel have been accounted for, and we are not aware of any injuries to U.S. personnel at this time. We continue to work with our partners to confirm whether they suffered any casualties as a result of this deliberate attack.”

“We maintain the inherent right of self-defense and will respond at a time and place of our choosing.”

U.S. and coalition troops are based at al-Tanf to train Syrian forces on patrols to counter Islamic State group militants.

It is the only position with a significant U.S. military presence in Syria outside the Kurdish-controlled north.

The garrison was first set up when ISIS fighters controlled eastern Syria bordering Iraq but since the militants were driven out, it is seen as part of the larger U.S. strategy to contain Iran’s military reach in the region.

The base is also located on a road serving as a vital link for Iranian-backed forces from Tehran all the way to southern Lebanon and Israel.

Initial reports said the attack appeared to include two drone strikes and a small number of rockets. One official said one of the drone strikes hit the U.S. side of the al-Tanf garrison, while one may have hit the side where Syrian opposition forces are based.

The officials said there was no information on whether local Syrian forces were injured or killed in the attack. The officials spoke on condition of anonymity to discuss military operations.

U.S. and coalition troops are based at al-Tanf to train Syrian forces on patrols to counter Islamic State group militants.

It is the only position with a significant U.S. military presence in Syria outside the Kurdish-controlled north.

The garrison was first set up when ISIS fighters controlled eastern Syria bordering Iraq but since the militants were driven out, it is seen as part of the larger U.S. strategy to contain Iran’s military reach in the region.

The base is also located on a road serving as a vital link for Iranian-backed forces from Tehran all the way to southern Lebanon and Israel.