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A drone strike at a US base in eastern Syria has resulted in the deaths of Kurdish-led forces, intensifying the ongoing tensions in the region.
The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights reported on Monday that “seven fighters were killed and at least 18 others injured” in the strike. This incident is part of a series of retaliatory measures following US airstrikes on Iran-aligned groups in Iraq and Syria, highlighting the simmering conflict with Washington.
The observatory characterized the attack as “the first response by the Iranian militias to American bases after American airstrikes on militia positions in various areas within areas they control.” Meanwhile, the Syrian Democratic Forces disclosed a slightly different toll, stating, “Six of our fighters were martyred due to a terrorist attack” with a one-way drone, targeting a “training academy in the Al Omar oilfield.”
This back-and-forth comes amid broader regional concerns that Israel’s bombardment of Gaza could trigger a wider conflict across the Middle East. The situation escalated significantly after a drone struck a US base in Jordan, leading to casualties among American soldiers. The US retaliated with targeted strikes against Tehran-backed groups and Houthi positions, a move that CENTCOM described as a “strike in self-defense against a Houthi … land attack cruise missile.”
Amid these developments, the US has emphasized its desire to avoid an all-out war with Iran, with Pentagon officials asserting their reluctance for further escalation. However, Jake Sullivan, White House National Security Advisor, indicated on national TV that “Friday’s strikes were ‘the beginning, not the end, of our response, and there will be more steps – some seen, some perhaps unseen.'”
Iran has warned of a decisive reaction to any direct attacks on its territory, with Foreign Ministry spokesman Nasser Kanani stating, “Iran ‘will not hesitate’ to respond if the US directly attacks its territory.”