WASHINGTON—The Defense Department said it launched an airstrike on a weapons facility used by an Iranian group in eastern Syria, the second such response in two weeks to a wave of drone and rocket attacks on U.S. troops based in Iraq and Syria.
The Pentagon added that President Biden approved of the “precision self-defense strike’’ on the facility it has said is used by Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps and affiliated groups.
“We hold Iran accountable for attacks, not just the militia groups,” a senior defense official told reporters Wednesday night, adding that the U.S. expects Iran to direct its proxy forces to direct them to stop.
While the U.S. saw people at the site earlier in the day, it timed the strike near Deir Ezzour, Syria, to minimize civilian deaths, said a military official, who couldn’t confirm any deaths.
Hours before Wednesday’s strike, the U.S. was investigating two suspected attacks in Iraq on Americans at a base and at the U.S. Embassy in Baghdad, defense officials said.
On Oct. 26, the Pentagon said it struck a weapons and ammunition storage facility in Abu Kamal, Syria, near the border with Iraq.
The Pentagon has so far declined to release images from either strike. It also said it couldn’t identify the kind of munitions stored at Wednesday’s strike site.
Earlier Wednesday, Iranian-backed Houthi rebels in Yemen shot down an unmanned U.S. military drone, an MQ-9 Reaper, U.S. defense officials said. The drone landed in the Red Sea, the officials said, near where it was operating.