Wednesday, February 21, 2024

US troops attacked 66 times since uptick in ME violence: Pentagon

US forces have been attacked 66 times in the Middle East since the uptick in violence that began in mid-October, Defense Department deputy spokesperson Sabrina Singh has confirmed.

“US forces have been attacked approximately 66 times since October 17. Thirty-two separate times in Iraq and 34 separate times in Syria,” Singh said during a media briefing on Tuesday.

US personnel have sustained approximately 62 injuries in these attacks, Singh added, noting that the number of injuries does not include those sustained during the Monday night attack because they are still being evaluated.

US soldiers in Iraq and Syria have seen a significant increase in the number of attacks since the breakout of the Palestine-Israel conflict in early October.

Washington has accused Iran-backed militias, but admitted there is no evidence to pin blame on Tehran’s leadership for ordering the strikes.

Iranian Foreign Minister Hossein Amirabdollahian has denied that Iran had instructed groups in Syria and Iraq to target US troops in recent days.

He stated it was Washington — not Tehran — that was fanning the violence in the region.

“The US could face dire consequences in the Middle East if it continues to support Israel,” Amiradbollahian stressed, adding that Washington “is advising others to show self-restraint, but it has sided with Israel totally”.

“If the United States continues what it has been doing so far, then new fronts will be opened up against the United States.”

He also cautioned that the continued bloodshed in Gaza “will make the situation get out of control in the region.”

“The American side should decide – does it really want to escalate, intensify the war?” he asked.

The foreign minister went on to deny that Iran had instructed militant groups in Iraq and Syria to attack the US, insisting that they were acting on their own.

“They’re not receiving any orders from us, any instructions,” he noted.

Iran has repeatedly warned the United States against any act of mischief in the region.

Washington is concerned that the Israel-Hamas conflict could spread through the Middle East and leave US troops at isolated bases exposed. Iran and its supporters say the US shares responsibility for Israel’s declared war against the Palestinian armed group Hamas.

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