Drone strikes US outpost in Syria

Associated Press/Lolita Baldor
The al-Tanf military outpost in southern Syria where U.S. Gen. Joseph Votel, top U.S. commander in the Middle East, made an unannounced visit Monday, Oct. 22, 2018. The U.S. trains Syrian opposition forces at the garrison outpost.

A base housing U.S. troops in eastern Syria was attacked by multiple drones early on Monday, though no casualties or damage were reported, according to a Pentagon statement

The attack took place near al-Tanf Garrison, which sits near the borders of Syria, Jordan and Iraq and is run by the U.S. military and American-backed Syrian opposition fighters known as Maghaweir al-Thowra (MaT), the Defense Department said.  

The coalition forces “successfully engaged one [unmanned aerial system] preventing its impact. A second UAS detonated within a MaT forces compound resulting in zero casualties or reported damage. The other attempted one-way UAS strikes were not successful,” the statement read. 

No group has yet claimed responsibility for the attack. 

U.S. and coalition troops are based at al-Tanf to train Syrian forces to counter ISIS militants and keep the terrorist group from resurging in the region.

The base also sits on a key roadway for Iranian-backed forces, making it a target for such militants.  

U.S. officials believe Iran provided resources and encouraged a drone attack in October at al-Tanf, which is believed to have included five drones laden with explosive charges.

Maj. Gen. John Brennan, the head of Combined Joint Task Force-Operation Inherent Resolve, on Monday condemned the “hostile activity” and called for an end to such attacks.  

The incidents “put the lives of innocent Syrian civilians at risk and undermine the significant efforts by our Partner Forces to maintain the lasting defeat of ISIS,” he said. 

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