A drone attack targeted the largest US military base in Syria, resulting in the death of at least six Kurdish-led fighters associated with the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF).
The attack occurred at the SDF’s commando academy located in the Al-Omar oil field in the Deir Al-Zour province during the early hours of Monday. The SDF has pointed fingers at Iran-backed militias, alleging that the drone was launched from an area controlled by Syrian government forces nearby.
The attack, which took place amid heightened tensions in the region, marked the second such incident following US strikes against Iran-backed groups in Iraq and Syria over the weekend. The Pentagon confirmed a rocket attack at its Mission Support Site Euphrates in Syria on Saturday, with no reported casualties or damages.
The SDF, having played a crucial role in defeating ISIS in 2019 with support from the US-led global coalition, expressed condemnation of the attack. The organization accused Iranian-backed militias of using Syrian regime-controlled areas in Deir Al-Zour as a staging ground for the assault and asserted its “right to respond appropriately to the source.”
The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights reported seven SDF commandos killed and 18 injured, labeling it the 108th militia attack on US bases since mid-October. The Islamic Resistance in Iraq (IRI), an umbrella group of Iraqi militias believed to be supported by Iran, claimed responsibility for the drone attack on the Al-Omar oil field, stating it was against the “US occupation base.”
As tensions escalate, the US, responding to a drone attack in Jordan, conducted strikes on facilities used by the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) and affiliated militias in Iraq and Syria. The situation remains complex, with Iran denying involvement in the recent attack, while the US attributes the manufactured drone to Iran and links militia coordination to the IRGC’s Quds Force.
US Secretary of State Antony Blinken, amidst the unfolding events, is on a Middle East tour. His visit includes stops in Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Qatar, Israel, and the West Bank, emphasizing the urgency to negotiate the release of Israeli hostages and prevent further escalation in the region.