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US troops in Syria down drone as threat of Iran-backed attacks returns

Israeli airstrikes killed at least three IRGC Quds Force generals at Iran's embassy compound in Damascus on Monday, threatening to reignite retaliatory militia attacks against US troops across Iraq and Syria after a two-month pause.
Syrian emergency and security personnel continue to search and remove the rubble at the site of strikes that hit a building annexed to the Iranian Embassy on April 1, Damascus, Syria, April 2, 2024.

WASHINGTON — US troops stationed at a remote base on Syria’s border with Iraq shot down a one-way attack drone on Monday afternoon, a US defense official confirmed to Al-Monitor, marking what appeared to be the first attempted attack by suspected Iran-backed militias in nearly two months.

Biden administration officials said they did not believe the drone was targeting the US base at al-Tanf or any other US or coalition troop positions, but did not say what they believed the origin or the target of the drone was.

Why it matters: American troops at bases across Iraq and Syria have faced regular attacks with exploding drones, missiles and rockets fired by militias armed by the Quds Force of Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) in recent years.

Suspected Iran-backed militias have launched more than a hundred such attempted attacks on US troops positions in Iraq and Syria since Israel’s war in the Gaza Strip began last October.

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