Smoke rises from an Assad regime air defense position, hit by Israeli strikes on Tartous Province in western Syria, September 13, 2023
UPDATE, NOV 26:
On Thursday — Thanksgiving Day — Iran-backed militias launched four attacks on US personnel at bases in Iraq and Syria, confirmed an American official.
On Thursday morning, “multiple one-way attack drones” were launched against troops at al-Asad Airbase in western Iraq; a single drone targeted Erbil Airbase in Iraqi Kurdistan; and a multi-rocket attack was launched against a position in Syria. In the afternoon, another one-way attack drone was launched against forces in Syria.
There were no casualties or infrastructure damage in any of the attacks.
The attacks followed US airstrikes overnight on Tuesday-Wednesday on two facilities used by the Iran-backed Kataib Hezbollah militia in Iraq. The militia said eight of its fighters were killed and four wounded.
On Wednesday afternoon, a one-way attack drone was launched against Erbil Airbase.
UPDATE, NOV 22:
A US AC-130 gunship has struck Iran-backed militia vehicles and personnel in western Iraq, retaliating for a ballistic missile attack on the Ain al-Asad airbase.
“The self-defense strike resulted in some hostile fatalities,” Pentagon deputy press secretary Sabrina Singh told reporters.
A “US defense official” said two missiles targeted an operations center and a command-and-control node of the Kataeb Hezbollah militia.
Other officials said Iran-backed militia launched at least one “close-range ballistic missile” on the airbase west of Baghdad late Monday, injuring at least eight US personnel and damaging an unoccupied warehouse.
The militia’s attack was the first with a ballistic missile on US troops in Iraq since January 2020. Responding to the American assassination of Iran’s senior commander Gen. Qassem Soleimani, the Revolutionary Guards fired at least 16 ballistic missiles from Iranian territory at Ain al-Asad and another airbase in Iraqi Kurdistan.
UPDATE 1812 GMT:
Despite US and Israeli strikes, Iran-backed militias are continuing daily rocket and drone attacks on American personnel on bases in Syria and Iraq.
An account linked to the Iranian regime posted on Friday:
Islamic Resistance in #Iraq, on Friday, targeted Ain Al-Assad and Harir bases in Iraq which house American forces, each with two drones. The forces also launched drone attack against Tal Baidar base in #Syria.
🎥 footage belongs to the drone attack against Harir base. pic.twitter.com/dSSHEovvsP
— Iran Nuances (@IranNuances) November 17, 2023
UPDATE, NOV 18:
Israel struck several Assad regime and Iranian sites near Damascus early Friday, according to the regime’s military.
A military officials said missiles were fired from the Israeli-occupied Golan Heights. He repeated the regime’s standard link that most of the missiles were shot down, saying there was only “minor material damage”.
Local sources said the Israelis targeted a weapons warehouse belonging to Lebanon’s Hezbollah, on the road to Damascus International Airport, and headquarters and sites used by Hezbollah and other Iran-backed groups in the south of the capital.
Unconfirmed reports claimed at least two Iran-linked foreign fighters were killed and others were injured.
Aftermath of Israeli airstrikes last night in S. Damascus countryside, Syria. Several targets including an ammo depot were destroyed btwn S. Zeinab district and the international airport. pic.twitter.com/2VqXFRWccM
— QalaatM (@QalaatM) November 17, 2023
UPDATE, NOV 13:
US warplanes have struck sites inside Syria linked to Iran for the third time in 18 days.
Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin announced Sunday’s attacks on two sites in a statement: “US military forces conducted precision strikes today on facilities in eastern Syria used by Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) and Iran-affiliated groups in response to continued attacks against US personnel in Iraq and Syria.”
Austin said the strikes were on a facility for training, logistics, and storage of munitions near Abu Kamal and on a safe house near Mayadeen in Deir ez-Zor Province. Pentagon officials said fewer than a dozen Iran-backed militia personnel were present, but an undetermined number were likely killed or injured.
The Defense Secretary declared, “The President has no higher priority than the safety of US personnel, and he directed today’s action to make clear that the United States will defend itself, its personnel, and its interests.”
The US military says Iran-backed militias have carried out 48 drone and rockets attacks on American troops on bases in Syria and Iraq since October 17.
At least 56 US service members had been injured. About half suffered traumatic brain injuries, and two had to be flown to Landstuhl military hospital in Germany for treatment.
All the injured troops are now back on duty.
Sites linked to the Iran leadership declared this morning that the Tehran-backed militias are continuing their attacks despite the US retaliation:
A US military base in the Koniko field, #Syria, was attacked by 15 rockets and the US base in Al-Shaddadi, Syria, was attacked by 3 drones, less than an hour after an #American strike against two sites in Al-Mayadeen and Al-Bukamal in eastern Syria. pic.twitter.com/Q4VixkqitO
— Iran Nuances (@IranNuances) November 13, 2023
UPDATE, NOV 10:
Israel has carried out airstrikes inside Syria, responding to a drone which crashed into a school in the southernmost Israeli city of Eilat on Thursday.
The Israel Defense Forces said early Friday that it targeted the organization in Syria that launched the drone, but gave no further details.
The Syrian regime is fully responsible for all terror activity that is carried out from Syrian territory. The IDF will respond severely to any attempt to attack the territory of the State of Israel.
The drone is believed to have been launched from southern Syria, traveling across Jordan, before hitting Eilat.
ORIGINAL ENTRY, NOV 9: Amid dozens of attacks by Iran-backed militias on American personnel stationed in Syria and Iraq, the US and Israel have carried out separate airstrikes on Iranian positions in Syria.
The Pentagon said two US F-15 fighter jets dropped multiple bombs on a weapons storage facility, used by Iran’s Revolutionary Guards, in Deir ez-Zor Province in eastern Syria.
Unconfirmed claims said nine Iran-backed militiamen were killed.
An American military official said people were seen at the warehouse during the day, but the number decreased to about “a couple” overnight when the airstrike was carried out. The official said secondary explosions indicated the presence of weapons.
The official added that the US believes no civilians were killed.
A “senior defense official”, in a conference call with reporters, said the strike was aimed at “disrupting and degrading the capabilities of groups directly responsible for attacking US forces in the region”, targeting facilities associated with the Revolutionary Guards.
The operation was combined “with very clear messaging through multiple channels…to Iranian senior leaders: ‘We want you to direct your proxies and militia groups to stop attacking us.’”
A deconfliction phone line was used to let Russian forces in Syria know about the attack.
The US also attacked two positions with Iran-backed personnel, a weapons store and an ammunition depot, in eastern Syria on October 27. The strike came after 19 militia drone and rocket attacks on US personnel in the previous 10 days.
The Iran-backed fighters have continued their assaults on bases in Iraq and Syria, raising the total to more than 40 since mid-October.
More Israeli Strikes in the South
The Assad regime’s military acknowledged that Israeli air strikes on military sites in southern Syria, just before 11 p.m. on Wednesday, caused “some material losses”.
An unconfirmed claim said three militiamen were slain in attacks on positions south of Damascus. The Israelis also hit a radar base in Suwayda Province.
Throughout the 12 1/2-year Syria conflict, Israel has carried out strikes on Assad regime and Iranian targets. The attacks seek to limit Iran’s transfer of weapons and missiles to Lebanon’s Hezbollah, and to put pressure on Tehran’s essential support for the Assad regime and its military.
Since the latest cycle of violence between Israel and Gaza’s Hamas organization began on October 7, the Israelis have carried out several strikes on regime and Iranian positions at the Aleppo and Damascus International Airports.