Iran believed to be responsible for attack on U.S. base in Syria

Iran is believed by the U.S. to be responsible for last week’s attack on al-Tanf, a base in southern Syria where U.S. troops are located, according to a U.S. official.

U.S. officials confirm that five drones were launched from within Syria in the attack on al-Tanf.

Last week, U.S. Central Command called the attack  “deliberate and coordinated,” but no injuries were reported among U.S. troops, U.S. Central Command spokesman Navy Captain Bill Urban said in a statement on the day of the attack.

Previous attacks on U.S. troops in Syria have been carried out by militias backed by Iran, usually in Iraq, which always gave Iran a level of deniability, but in this case, it’s Iran that is believed to bear direct responsibility. 

There are about 200 U.S. military troops based at al-Tanf, which is controlled by Syrian opposition forces. American troops advise and train Syrian opposition forces as part of Operation Inherent Resolve, set up in 2014 to contain the threat of ISIS in Iraq and Syria. Lately, Inherent Resolve has been transitioning to more of an advisory role to assist Iraq and opposition forces in Syria.

At the same time, the Biden administration has been trying to get Iran to return to nuclear negotiations. However, the special envoy to Iran, Robert Malley, said Monday that the patience of the U.S. and other countries with Iran’s delay in returning to talks is “wearing thin,” and diplomatic efforts are in a “critical place.”

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