The United States military base at Al-Tanf in Syria was targeted with a “deliberate and coordinated” on Wednesday at approximately 7 p.m., according to the U.S. Central Command (CENTCOM). The base was hit by drones and indirect mortar and rocket fire. There were no casualties among the U.S. troops stationed at the base.

The identity of the attackers is not yet known. However, Iranian proxy militias, run by the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps and the Quds Force, are located in the area. They have frequently attacked the U.S. troops both in Iraq and Syria. 

A battle damage assessment is ongoing at the base.

“All U.S. personnel have been accounted for… We maintain the inherent right of self-defense and will respond at a time and place of our choosing,” Captain Bill Urban, the spokesman for CENTCOM, said in a statement.

Al-Tanf base Special Forces Syria
5th Special Forces Group (A) Operation Detachment Bravo 5310 arrives to meet Major General James Jarrard at the Landing Zone at base camp Al-Tanf Garrison in southern Syria. (Pentagon)

In the past, the U.S. had frequently retaliated against the Iranian-led militias. Nevertheless, it has only done so twice since the Biden administration took office in late January. Iranian militiamen, warehouses, and arms depots have been the subject of hundreds of airstrikes that have been attributed to Israel. 

Last week, several Israeli airstrikes targeted Iranian proxy militias in Syria. One of the strikes near Palmyra killed a Syrian pro-regime soldier and injured three others believed to be members of the Iranian-led militias, Syria’s defense ministry claimed.

In February, the U.S. had conducted an airstrike in Syria against two Iranian-backed militias in response to rocket attacks on American forces in the region. Those airstrikes drew the ire of Congressional lawmakers, who said that the president had not asked for the necessary congressional authorization. The White House responded that the airstrikes were backed by Article II of the Constitution as well as the United Nations charter.

The U.S. conducted an airstrike in late June against two of the proxy militias’ operational and weapons storage facilities in Syria and Iraq after a rise in the number of rocket attacks on U.S. troops and bases in the country. The U.S. government had accused the Iranian-led militias of the attacks on U.S. bases.