US officials: Iran was behind the attack on al-Tanf base in Syria
US officials indicated that Iran was behind the drone attack, last week, on the US base in al-Tanf, southeast of Syria.
Officials said Monday the US believes that Iran resourced and encouraged the attack, but that the drones were not launched from Iran. They were Iranian drones, and Iran appears to have facilitated their use, officials said, speaking on condition of anonymity to discuss details that have not been made public.
The officials stated that “the attacks included up to five drones loaded with explosive devices, and hit the positions of the American forces and the Syrian opposition forces in al-Tanf.”
The “Associated Press” indicated that US Defense Department spokesman John Kirby declined to provide details when asked about the report during a news conference Monday. He called it a “complex, coordinated and deliberate attack” and said the US has seen similar ones before from Shia militia groups that are backed by Iran. But he would not go into specifics and said he had no update on the munitions used in the attack.
Kirby also declined to say whether U.S. forces had been warned ahead of time, or whether the United States intended to mount a military response.
“The protection and security of our troops overseas remains a paramount concern for the secretary,” Kirby said, referring to US Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin, “and that if there is to be a response, it will be at a time and a place and a manner of our choosing, and we certainly won’t get ahead of those kinds of decisions.”
The American “Fox News” channel quoted US officials as saying that “the US army received advance warning of the attack on al-Tanf base, and its soldiers were transferred before the strike was carried out.”
And there were several explosions at Al-Tanf base, last Wednesday night, as a result of raids carried out by a drone, in the first targeting of the American military base.