Iranian proxy militias launched two fresh attacks on US bases in Syria and Iraq on Friday, after US warplanes hit targets in Syria belonging to the Revolutionary Guard.
Tasnim news agency affiliated with the IRGC reported at midday local time that “six missiles were launched from the vicinity of Bu Kamal and al-Mayadeen” at the US base near the al-Omar oil fields. The website said in its headline that “American forces were caught by surprise.”
Later Tasnim also reported that the Ain al-Asad airbase in Iraq hosting US troops was hit by drones. Tasnim and Iraqi news websites reported that Islamic Jihad, a front of Iraqi Shiite forces loyal to Tehran, had issued a statement accepting responsibility.
There has been no confirmation by Iraq or the United States about the reported attacks.
If true, these fresh attacks would constitute a quick response by Iranian forces to a limited US retaliatory attack launched hours earlier at two reportedly unmanned weapons depots of the Revolutionary Guard near Bu Kamal.
The Islamic Resistance in Iraq claimed that its drones had achieved a “direct hit at the Ain- al-Assad airbase.
Tasnim said in its report about the attacks, “These attacks have taken place in response to the continuous crimes of the Israeli occupiers against the Palestinian people and the support of the United States for this regime.”
Iran’s armed proxy forces in Syria and Iraq have launched nearly 20 drone and rocket attacks against US bases in the two countries since the October 7 Hamas terror raid into Israel.
President Joe Biden and other US officials had been warning this week of retaliation if Iranian-affiliated forces continued targeting American forces. However, multiple and consecutive attacks remained unanswered until Thursday night.
Earlier, US Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin had announced that US forces, at the direction of President Joe Biden, had launched strikes “targeting two facilities in eastern Syria used by the Revolutionary Guards and its affiliated forces.”
Austin said the strikes were “a response to a series of ongoing attacks against U.S. personnel in Iraq and Syria by Iranian-backed forces that began on Oct. 17.”
Iran had not attacked US bases in the region for nearly a year before the October 7th Hamas invasion. Tehran was holding secret talks with Washington to free billions of dollars of its frozen funds. The Biden administration agreed to release at least $8.7 billion blocked in South Korea and Iraq since June in exchange for five American hostages held by Iran and reportedly an agreement to deescalate tensions. However, the Hamas attack on Israel have led to the possibility of a serious conflict in the region.
Iran fully backs Hamas and has threatened the United States that if the attack on Gaza does not stop, it can engulf US interests.
Iran’s foreign minister told the United Nations on Thursday that US forces in the Middle East will not be spared if the Israeli offensive against Hamas continues.
Hossein Amir-Abdollahian reiterated the regime’s warning during an emergency meeting of the UN General Assembly on the Israel-Hamas conflict in New York. “I say frankly to the American statesmen, who are now managing the genocide in Palestine, that we do not welcome the expansion of the war in the region. But if the genocide in Gaza continues, they will not be spared from this fire.”