US to respond to attack on its forces in Syria at time ‘of our own choosing’



The US will retaliate for an attack on its forces in northeastern Syria when and where it so chooses, the White House said Tuesday.

“We have done it, and we will do it at a time and in a manner of our own choosing,” National Security Council spokesperson John Kirby told reporters during a virtual briefing. “I am certainly not going to forecast what that could look like going forward.”

President Joe Biden “reserves the right to act in defense of our people and our facilities overseas, and that’s not going to change,” added Kirby.

The comments came after US troops in northeastern Syria came under attack multiple times last week by what the US says was Iran-backed proxy forces, prompting the US to carry out a retaliatory strike.

The March 23 suicide drone strike killed one US contractor and injured five service members when a coalition base near Hasakah came under rocket fire. The following day, a salvo of rockets targeted the Green Village, a military facility located at the al-Omar gas field where about 900 US troops are stationed.

No rockets struck the facility, but one veered off course and struck a civilian home about 5 kilometers (3 miles) away, injuring two women and two children, according to the Pentagon.

No additional US reprisals were carried out.

The New York Times newspaper reported that Biden chose to hold off on a second round of US strikes with warplanes poised to carry them out on Friday evening.

No additional attacks were reported over the weekend, and some in the Biden administration are “eager to move on, avoid escalating the back-and-forth strikes into a wider war with Iran and its proxies, and remain focused on the broader mission of helping root out the pockets of” Daesh/ISIS in the region. — AA


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