President Biden warned Iran that the U.S. will "act forcefully" to protect Americans after a drone strike in Syria killed a U.S. contractor and injured five U.S. service members Thursday.
"My heart and deepest condolences go out to the family of the American we lost, and we wish a speedy recovery for those who are wounded," the President said at a joint press conference in Canada alongside Prime Minister Trudeau.
Biden prefaced his remarks by explaining that he had ordered airstrikes targeting "those responsible" for attacking American personnel.
"And to make no mistake: The United States does not — does not, I emphasize — seek conflict with Iran, but be prepared for us to act forcefully to protect our people," Biden said in his remarks. Biden said the United States would continue efforts to counter terrorist threats in the region along with coalition members like Canada to defeat ISIS.
Simultaneous attacks were launched at U.S. forces in Syria late Friday, according to Voice of America News. Preliminary information suggested there was a rocket attack on the Conoco plant, where U.S. troops are stationed.
Another U.S. service member was wounded in Friday's fresh trio of attacks, CBS News reported, citing an unnamed U.S. official.
Thursday, a "one-way unmanned aerial vehicle" of "Iranian origin" struck a maintenance facility in northeast Syria, causing several American casualties. One American contractor was reportedly killed in the drone strike. At least five service members and an additional American contractor was injured.
"At the direction of President Biden, I authorized U.S. Central Command forces to conduct precision airstrikes tonight in eastern Syria against facilities used by groups affiliated with Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC)," Secretary of Defense Lloyd J. Austin III said in a statement Thursday.
"The airstrikes were conducted in response to today’s attack as well as a series of recent attacks against Coalition forces in Syria by groups affiliated with the IRGC."
Videos on social media show explosions in Syria's Deir el-Zour, "a strategic province that borders Iraq and contains oil fields," Politico reported.
"We are postured for scalable options in the face of any additional Iranian attacks," United States Central Command Commander General Michael "Erik" Kurilla said in a statement Thursday.
"Our troops remain in Syria to ensure the enduring defeat of ISIS, which benefits the security and stability of not only Syria, but the entire region.”
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