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Drone Attack Hits US-Led Coalition Base in Syria: US Military

A drone attack hit a US-led coalition base in southern Syria Friday, the US military’s Central Command said, with a war monitor saying it was launched by Iran-backed groups.

“Three one-way attack drones attacked the Al-Tanf Garrison in Syria,” a CENTCOM statement said.

Two of the drones were shot down by the coalition, but the third hit the compound, wounding two allied Syrian fighters, the statement added.

“Attacks of this kind are unacceptable,” CENTCOM spokesperson Joe Buccino said, without specifying who carried it out.

“They place our troops and our partners at risk and jeopardise the fight against the Islamic State group.”

The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said it was likely that Iran-backed militants had launched the attack.

Iran-backed forces are deployed in close proximity to Al-Tanf, a desert garrison on the strategically important Baghdad-Damascus highway, near the border with Iraq and Jordan.

Iran is a key ally of the Syrian government, and the coalition has disrupted similar attacks on Al-Tanf in the past.

The coalition established the base in 2016 to train Syrian fighters for the war against the Islamic State group.

It retained the facility even after the jihadists’ last Syrian outpost was overrun by Kurdish-led forces in March 2019.

Hundreds of US troops remain at Al-Tanf and other bases in the Kurdish-controlled northeast as part of the coalition’s continuing campaign against IS remnants.

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