A U.S. defense official told Fox News on Thursday that there have now been 46 attacks on American military bases since Oct. 17 – about a week after Hamas launched its war on Israel.
The official explained that the latest attacks in Iraq and Syria have not resulted in any injuries or damage to infrastructure. The attacks involve a mix of one-way drones and rockets and four of them happened after the U.S. conducted an airstrike in Syria last night, according to the official.
The most recent attack targeted U.S. and coalition forces at the Al-Asad Airbase in Iraq this morning, the official said.
American troops in Iraq and Syria have been repeatedly attacked by groups likely backed by Iran. In response to one of the recent incidents in Syria, U.S. military forces conducted an airstrike against a weapons facility in the country on Wednesday.
“Today, at President Biden’s direction, U.S. military forces conducted a self-defense strike on a facility in eastern Syria used by Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) and affiliated groups,” Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin said in a statement. “This strike was conducted by two U.S. F-15s against a weapons storage facility. This precision self-defense strike is a response to a series of attacks against U.S. personnel in Iraq and Syria by IRGC-Quds Force affiliates.”
“The President has no higher priority than the safety of U.S. personnel, and he directed today’s action to make clear that the United States will defend itself, its personnel, and its interests,” Austin added.
A U.S. defense official also confirmed to Fox News on Wednesday that the Iranian-backed Houthis shot down a US MQ-9 Reaper drone near the Yemeni coast.
“We can confirm that a U.S. military MQ-9 remotely-piloted aircraft was shot down while in international airspace over international waters off the coast of Yemen,” the official said. “U.S. Central Command officials are assessing the incident.”
The MQ-9 Reaper drone was reportedly surveilling Yemen when a Houthi militia fired at it. The drone is estimated to cost around $30 million.
The last time a MQ-9 Reaper was shot down by Houthi fighters was on June 6, 2019. The Biden administration removed the Houthis from the U.S. list of terrorist groups in 2021.
Fox News’ Liz Friden, Andrea Vacchiano and Jennifer Griffin contributed to this report.