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Gaza truce brings halt in Iran-linked attacks on US troops in Iraq, Syria

Pause in fighting between Israel and Hamas coincides with tentative reprieve for US troops hunting down the remnants of the Islamic State group as Iran-backed militias hold their fire.
This picture taken on July 8, 2021, shows a view of the Ain al-Assad air base hosting US forces in Iraq.

WASHINGTON — A steady barrage of rocket and drone attacks targeting bases used by US troops in Iraq and Syria came to a halt last week as Israel paused its war against Palestinian militants in the Gaza Strip.

Pentagon spokesperson Brig. Gen. Pat Ryder said Monday that the last reported attack occurred on Nov. 23, just hours before Israel and Hamas halted hostilities in order to exchange Palestinian prisoners for hostages held by the militants in Gaza.

“As for why Iranian proxies have chosen not to conduct attacks [since then], I’d refer you to them,” Ryder told reporters.

Iran-backed militias in Iraq and Syria have targeted US positions 74 times since Oct. 17. In response, the US carried out three rounds of airstrikes in Syria and one in Iraq. Biden administration officials have also relayed public and private messages to convince Iran to rein in the militias.

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