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US troops shoot down drone launched by Iran-backed militants for first time in 2 months


Daily Caller News Foundation

U.S. troops shot down a suicide drone launched by Iran-backed militant groups on Monday for the first time in nearly two months, a defense official told the Daily Caller News Foundation.

Attacks on bases housing U.S. troops in Iraq and Syria had quieted after the U.S. carried out large-scale counterattacks and assassinated a senior Kataib Hezbollah commander in February. The Pentagon official could not confirm to the DCNF whether or not the drone engaged Monday was targeting the Al-Tanf garrison in Syria, but it could signal an end to the extended pause in attacks that began in response to Israel’s war against Hamas.

“On the afternoon of April 1, a one-way attack drone was detected and destroyed by U.S. forces at Al-Tanf Garrison, Syria. No injuries and no damage to infrastructure were reported,” the official said.

U.S. forces engaged the drone “out of an abundance of caution and because the drone was in the proximity of [Al-Tanf Garrison],” a Department of Defense (DOD) official told Politico on Tuesday. “We don’t assess this was an attack on ATG and it’s unclear what the intended target of the drone was,” the official added.

The last attack against coalition forces took place on Feb. 4, the official confirmed.

Israel killed two Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) generals, including Quds Force — the IRGC component that oversees Iranian proxy operations — commander Mohammad-Reza Zahedi, and five officers in a targeted airstrike at a facility near the Iranian embassy in Damascus on Monday. The strike also caused major damage to the consulate, videos of the aftermath show.

It’s unclear whether the drone flying near Al-Tanf was launched in retaliation for the Israeli operation. The Biden administration has denied any involvement in Monday’s strike on the consulate, which reportedly took place just before a virtual meeting between senior Israeli and U.S. government officials to address Israel’s upcoming ground operation against the remaining Hamas stronghold in Rafah.

Iran vowed to exact vengeance against Israel, according to Axios.

Kataib Hezbollah, one of two primary Iranian proxies behind the hundreds of attacks on U.S. troops since October, said Monday it had acquired rifles, RPGs, missiles, ammunition and explosives to equip 12,000 “Islamic Resistance” fighters in Jordan to “defend our Palestinian brothers,” according to a statement.

The U.S. on Feb. 2 carried out a large-scale wave of strikes on Iran-backed militants in Iraq and Syria and the Iranian military command that oversees Tehran’s proxy operations in response to the Jan. 28 suicide drone bombing that caused the first U.S. fatalities since the escalation of attacks.

U.S. Central Command (CENTCOM) forces also killed Abu Baqir Al-Saadi, the commander in charge of Kataib Hezbollah’s Syria operations, in a targeted drone strike on Feb. 7. The Pentagon assessed he planned and directed the attack killing three U.S. Army reservists.

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Republished with permission from Daily Caller News Foundation

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