The United States military acted preemptively in Syria and destroyed several rocket launcher sites that intelligence officials on Tuesday claimed were being prepared to fire on an installation that houses the American-led coalition.
The rocket launcher sites were destroyed by United States forces but the exact who, as in which unit carried out the attack, and how the launchers were destroyed has not been specified as of yet. The rocket launcers were set to attack Green Village in Syria. But the Pentagon kept details to a minimum other than the rocket launchers posed “an imminent threat” to U.S.-led coalition personnel.
Green Village is located just east of the Euphrates, is a facility used by the SDF with some of the U.S. advisors co-located with them in Syria.
Coalition forces reacted quickly and launched six rounds of counter-battery artillery fire at the launch sites of the artillery from the militias.
Pentagon spokesman John Kirby said stressed in his daily press briefing that airstrikes were not used against the launch sites, but didn’t elaborate on how the coalition hit them.
“One of the reasons these sites were hit was we had reason to believe that they were going to be used as launch sites for attacks on Green Village,” Kirby said. “So clearly our men and women remain in harm’s way and we have to take that threat very seriously and we always have the right of self defense.”
On Monday, two drones were shot down after they approached an Iraqi base that houses U.S. troops near the Baghdad airport on Monday. That attack on the American presence in Iraq coincides with the anniversary of the 2020 U.S. killing of Iranian Quds Forces leader Major General Qassem Soleimani.
On Tuesday, another attack where American air defenses shot down two more fixed-wing drones as they approached Ain al-Asad Airbase, located in western Al-Anbar province in central Iraq.
“Two fixed-wing drones rigged with explosives were engaged and destroyed by defensive capabilities at the Iraqi Ain al-Asad airbase early this morning,” an official with coalition was quoted by the news media.
“The attempted attack was unsuccessful. All forces are accounted for.”
“These are attacks against Iraqi installations and an attack against the Iraqi people and the military that protects them. We maintain a minimal footprint on Iraqi bases – the coalition no longer has its own bases in Iraq,” the official added.
Attacks are increasing on the Combined Joint Task Force – Operation Inherent Resolve (CJTF-OIR), by Iranian-led proxy militias. Those militias have conducted dozens of attacks on U.S. coalition bases in Iraq and Syria, as well as the U.S. Embassy in Baghdad
On Wednesday morning the base located in Green Village, a Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) base with a small Coalition advisory presence, in northeast Syria was hit by eight rounds of indirect artillery fire. Although the rounds landed within the base compound, no casualties were reported and the rounds only caused minor damage.
Iran-backed militia attacks are a dangerous distraction from our Coalition’s shared mission to advise, assist, & enable partner forces to maintain the enduring defeat of Daesh, said MG John Brennan, commander CJTFOIR. Read more:https://t.co/xZaieDIXuj
— Inherent Resolve (@CJTFOIR) January 5, 2022
The commander of the CJTF-OIR, Major General John Brennan said that the inaccurate and indiscriminate indirect fire used by the militias were a threat to civilians in the area.
“The Coalition reserves the right to defend itself and partner forces against any threat, and will continue to do everything within its power to protect those forces,” said Brennan. “Our Coalition continues to see threats against our forces in Iraq and Syria by militia groups that are backed by Iran. These attacks are a dangerous distraction from our Coalition’s shared mission to advise, assist, and enable partner forces to maintain the enduring defeat of Daesh.”
SDF troops and InSF HAT counter-terrorist forces arrested four individuals that were suspected of being in the attack against the base. The fighters were captured near the village of Muamal, and were in possession of weapons, ammunition, and communications equipment.
Steve Balestrieri is a 1945 National Security Columnist. He has served as a US Special Forces NCO and Warrant Officer before injuries forced his early separation. In addition to writing for 1945, he covers the NFL for PatsFans.com and his work was regularly featured in the Millbury-Sutton Chronicle and Grafton News newspapers in Massachusetts.