Another U.S. Troop Injured After Follow-On Iranian-Backed Militia Attacks

Iranian-backed militias in Syria carried out two more attacks on U.S. forces using rockets and drones as the violence escalates.

byHoward Altman|
US Syria 2023
U.S. Army photo by Sgt. Julio Hernandez


Another U.S. service member was wounded in a new round of battles with Iranian-backed forces in Syria.

There were two attacks on U.S. forces in Syria about 45 minutes apart Friday, a U.S defense official told The War Zone.

The first attack took place around 10:39 P.M. local time, with multiple rockets fired at coalition forces at Mission Support Center Site Conoco, said the official, speaking on condition of anonymity to discuss the matter. One U.S. service member was injured in that attack and is currently in stable condition.

In another attack, at about 11:23 P.M. local time, three one-way drones attacked Green Village, said the official. Two of the drones were shot down by coalition air defenses. One made it through to the compound, but resulted in no injuries. One building was damaged, however.

There were two more attacks today on U.S. forces at Deer ez-Zor, which you can see on this map in northeast Syria near the border with Iraq. (CRS map)

News of the latest attacks comes after a flood of unconfirmed reports of exchanges of fire and additional strikes between U.S. and Iranian-backed militias in Syria began emerging mid-day on Friday on social media.

We have reached out to the Pentagon and U.S. Central Command (CENTCOM), which oversees U.S. military operations in the region and will update this story with any information provided. 

The attacks Friday are the latest in a growing series of tit-for-tat strikes between the U.S. and forces aligned with Iran's Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corp (IRGC).

CENTCOM says that there have been scores of strikes by IRGC-backed militias on U.S. and anti-ISIS coalition forces and facilities since 2021.

But this round of fighting was sparked by the death of a U.S. contractor and the wounding of five U.S. service members and another U.S. contractor. The casualties occurred as a result of an unmanned aerial vehicle attack on a maintenance facility at a U.S.-led anti-Islamic State coalition base near Hasakah in northeast Syria at approximately 1:38 P.M. local time Thursday, according to the Pentagon.

The most recent round of fighting between the U.S. and Iranian-backed militias began with an Iranian-made drone strike on a U.S. base in Hasaka, northeastern Syria. (Google Earth image)

That was followed by a strike by two U.S. Air Force F-15E multirole fighters on facilities used by IRGC-affiliated groups, who then launched 10 rockets targeting coalition forces at Green Village in northeast Syria, Air Force Brig. Gen. Pat Ryder, the Pentagon's top spokesman, told reporters Friday afternoon. The attack resulted in no injuries to U.S. or coalition personnel and no damage to equipment or facilities. You can read more about that in our coverage here.

"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," U.S. President Joe Biden said Friday afternoon at a joint press conference with Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau in Canada.

"That’s exactly what happened last night. And we’re going to continue to keep up our efforts to counter terrorist threats in the region, in partnerships with Canada and other members of the coalition, to defeat ISIS."

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