America inched deeper into the Middle East conflict on Wednesday as the U.S. carried out an airstrike on a site in eastern Syria.
In a statement, Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin said the targeted location is used by Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps and groups linked to Iran.
“This strike was conducted by two U.S. F-15s against a weapons storage facility,” he said. “This precision self-defense strike is a response to a series of attacks against U.S. personnel in Iraq and Syria by IRGC-Quds Force affiliates.”
“The United States is fully prepared to take further necessary measures to protect our people and our facilities. We urge against any escalation. U.S. personnel will continue to conduct counter-ISIS missions in Iraq and Syria,” Lloyd said.
The strike was the second such action in two weeks.
On Tuesday, deputy Pentagon press secretary Sabrina Singh said that between Oct. 17 and Nov. 7, at least 40 attacks were launched against U.S. forces in the region, according to ABC News.
More than half of those attacks came after the Oct. 26 U.S. airstrikes against two weapons storage facilities in Syria used by Iran and its allies.
Forty-six American service members have been injured in the attacks, Pentagon press secretary Brig. Gen. Pat Ryder told reporters on Monday.
A senior defense official told CNN that Iran is “the center of gravity” for the attacks against American forces, saying that “Iranian fingerprints are all over” them.
Also on Wednesday, an American drone was shot down by Houthi rebels near Yemen.
A U.S. defense official said the MQ-9 Reaper drone was shot down in international airspace, according to another ABC report.
The New York Times called it “another escalation of violence between the United States and Iran-backed groups in the region.”
Last month, the USS Carney engaged in a nine-hour duel with Houthi rebels near Yemen during which the Carney shot down four cruise missiles and 15 drones.
Ryder confirmed at the time that the drones were heading north, “potentially toward targets in Israel.”
The increasing attacks and fighting between Israel and Hamas in Gaza are raising concerns about a wider war erupting in the Middle East.
This article appeared originally on The Western Journal.
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