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No Attacks on US Troops Since Israel-Hamas Truce: Pentagon

The near-daily attacks on US forces in Iraq and Syria have stopped since a truce between Israel and Hamas went into effect last week, the Pentagon said Tuesday.

American forces in the two countries have been targeted with rockets and drones more than 70 times since mid-October — a surge in violence the United States has blamed on Iran-backed forces.

“There have been no attacks on US forces in Iraq and Syria since November 23, since the operational pause began,” Pentagon spokesman Brigadier General Pat Ryder told journalists.

The attacks have caused injuries to dozens of American personnel — who are in Iraq and Syria as part of efforts to prevent a resurgence of the Islamic State jihadist group — but all have since returned to duty.

The spike in attacks on US forces is linked to the war between Israel and Hamas, triggered on October 7 when the Palestinian militant group carried out a shock cross-border attack from Gaza that Israeli officials say killed about 1,200 people.

Israel responded with a relentless land and air on Hamas-controlled Gaza that the territory’s health ministry says has killed almost 15,000 people.

Those deaths have provoked widespread anger in the Middle East and provided an impetus for attacks against American troops in the region by armed groups opposed to their presence and to Washington’s backing for Israel.

A four-day truce mediated by Qatar went into effect on November 24, under which Hamas released hostages and Israel freed Palestinian prisoners.

The truce has since been extended, and mediators are working for a lasting halt to the seven-week Israel-Hamas war.

The United States was flying drones over Gaza as part of efforts to locate hostages seized by Hamas, but those activities have been paused as part of the truce, Ryder said.

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