Officials: Iran behind drone attack on U.S. base in Syria

Officials: Iran behind drone attack on US base in Syria
Pentagon spokesman John Kirby speaks during a media briefing at the Pentagon, Monday, Oct. 25, 2021, in Washington. Photo credit AP Photo/Alex Brandon

U.S. officials say they believe Iran was behind the drone attack last week at the military outpost in southern Syria where American troops are based.

Officials said Monday the U.S. believes that Iran resourced and encouraged the attack, but that the drones were not launched from Iran. They were Iranian drones, and Iran appears to have facilitated their use, officials said, speaking on condition of anonymity to discuss details that have not been made public.

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Officials said they believe the attacks involved as many as five drones laden with explosive charges, and that they hit both the U.S. side of al-Tanf garrison and the side where Syrian opposition forces stay.

There were no reported injuries or deaths as a result of the attack.

U.S. and coalition troops are based at al-Tanf to train Syrian forces on patrols to counter Islamic State militants. The base is also located on a road serving as a vital link for Iranian-backed forces from Tehran all the way to southern Lebanon and Israel.

Pentagon spokesman John Kirby declined to provide details when asked about the report during a news conference Monday. He called it a “complex, coordinated and deliberate attack” and said the U.S. has seen similar ones before from Shia militia groups that are backed by Iran. But he would not go into specifics and said he had no update on the munitions used in the attack.

Kirby also declined to say if troops were warned ahead of time or whether the U.S. intends to make a military response.

“The protection and