Thursday, May 30, 2024

Biden says US not seeking conflict with Iran in Syria

US President Joe Biden says Washington does not seek conflict with Iran, adding "we will act to protect our people”, after multiple attacks targeted American troops in war-ravaged Syria.

“Make no mistake, the United States does not seek conflict with Iran but is prepared to act forcefully to protect our people,” the US president said while visiting Canada.

Asked whether there should be a higher cost for Iran, Biden replied: “We’re not going to stop.”

A US base in northeast Syria was attacked on Friday in the second such incident in two days, but the Pentagon claimed no American troops were killed or injured. The missile attack did not cause any damage to infrastructure.

The United States Central Command (CENTCOM) said that 10 rockets targeted Coalition forces at the Green Village in northeast Syria on Friday morning. No US or Coalition personnel were injured and there was no damage to US equipment or facilities.

“This kind of indiscriminate rocket attack places not only our forces and coalition forces at risk, but also jeopardizes the local civilian population as well as the security and stability of Syria and the entire region,” CENTCOM Spokesman Col. Joe Buccino stated.

“As President Biden has made clear, we will take all necessary measures to defend our people and will always respond at a time and place of our choosing,” he added.

The Pentagon has also said earlier on Friday that the US does not want conflict with Iran.

“We don’t see escalation with Iran,” a Pentagon spokesman stated, adding, “But the strikes that we took last night were intended to send a very clear message that we will take the protection of our personnel seriously and that we will respond quickly and decisively if they’re threatened.”

Local media also reported late Friday that US troops and pro-Damascus forces were engaged in back-and-forth fire at multiple locations inside Syria.

It comes after an attack on Thursday killed an American contractor and wounded five US troops and another contractor. Washington has claimed a drone of Iranian origin was used in that attack.

The US conducted air raids against “Iran-backed groups” in eastern Syria in response to the drone strike.

Two US officials, speaking on condition of anonymity, said it appeared that the defensive system on the base had failed. One US official told Reuters that troops on the ground did not appear to have had enough time to react to the drone.

Although US forces stationed in Syria have been attacked with drones before, deaths are rare.

The US and its allies invaded Syria in 2014 under the pretext of fighting Daesh. The Takfiri terrorist group had emerged as Washington was running out of excuses to extend its regional meddling or enlarge it in scale.

American forces sustain their illegal presence on the Arab country’s soil, although Damascus and its allies defeated Daesh in late 2017.

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