Explosion hits US military base in eastern Syria following US strikes

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A loud explosion was heard early on Friday at a US military base in the eastern Syrian province of Dayr al-Zawr, following US strikes on two military sites in the region.

Citing sources, Lebanon’s Al-Mayadeen news network reported the explosion at the base that houses US troops in the Conoco gas field.  

Sabereen News, a Telegram news channel associated with Iraqi anti-terror Popular Mobilization Units, also reported a rocket attack against the base.

There are also reports about a drone attack against US military forces around Erbil airport in the north of Iraq.

There were no immediate reports about possible casualties and the extent of damage caused.

The reported attacks came after US forces carried out strikes against two military facilities in Syria’s eastern province late on Thursday.

In a statement, US Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin described the strikes as a “self-defence” which was carried out “at President Biden’s direction.”

“These precision self-defense strikes are a response to a series of ongoing and mostly unsuccessful attacks against US personnel in Iraq and Syria that began on October 17,” he said, claiming that the targeted facilities were used by Iranian forces and Iran-backed groups.

The Pentagon announced on Thursday that their forces and their allies had been attacked at least 16 times across Iraq and neighboring Syria this month amid regional outrage over the United States’ heavy support for the Israeli regime’s ongoing onslaught against Palestinians in the Gaza Strip.

“The United States does not seek conflict and has no intention nor desire to engage in further hostilities,” Austin claimed despite the deployment of more US troopers in the region.

The Pentagon says roughly 900 US troops have been deployed or are deploying to West Asia amid heightened tensions in the region after a series of attacks on US-occupied bases.

“These include forces that have been on prepare to deploy orders, and which are deploying from the continental United States,” Pentagon spokesman Brigadier General Pat Ryder told reporters on Thursday.

He added, “Deployed and deploying units include a Terminal High Altitude Area Defense battery from Fort Bliss Texas, Patriot batteries from Fort Sill, Oklahoma, Patriot and Avenger batteries from Fort Liberty, North Carolina, and associated air defense headquarters elements from Fort Bliss and Fort Cavazos, Texas.”

Ryder claimed that the units would not be going to the Israeli-occupied territories and were meant for “deterrence.” The Pentagon previously announced the deployment of the THAAD and Patriot batteries.

Anti-American sentiments have soared across the region in the past month following all-out support of Washington for Israeli crimes in the Gaza Strip where relentless Israeli air raids have killed more than 7,000 people since October 7.

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