An Iranian security spokesman has warned that attacks on bases linked to Iran will be met with “immediate counterattacks” after a US strike in Syria reportedly killed 19 people.
Keyvan Khosravi’s remarks came after a series of U.S. strikes in the east of the country, one of the deadliest firefights in years between U.S. and Iranian-aligned forces.
US strikes in response Thursday’s drone attack This resulted in the death of one American contractor and the wounding of another along with five US troops.
Washington said the attack came from Iran.
In the ensuing barrage of tit-for-tat attacks, officials said another U.S. service member was wounded, and local sources said suspected U.S. rockets hit more locations in eastern Syria.
The U.S. airstrikes on pro-Iran facilities killed three Syrian soldiers, 11 Syrian fighters from pro-government militias and five non-Syrian fighters allied to the government, according to the U.K.-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights.
Inspector General Rami Abdel Rahman could not specify the nationality of the foreigners.
Iran says its troops and allied fighters are in Syria at the request of Damascus and considers U.S. forces to be occupiers.
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The semi-official news agency Nournews quoted Mr. Khosrawi, spokesman for Iran’s top security agency, as saying: “Any pretext to attack a base created at the request of the Syrian government to deal with terrorists and ISIS elements in the country will be met with immediate retaliation. .”
It came after President Joe Biden warned Iran on Friday that the United States would “act vigorously” to protect its people.
Iran has been a key backer of President Bashar al-Assad during Syria’s 12-year conflict.
Iran’s proxy militias, including the Lebanese Hezbollah group and the pro-Tehran Iraqi group, dominate large swaths of the east,
Southern and northern Syria and the suburbs around the capital.
Tehran’s increasingly fortified defenses in Syria have attracted regular Israeli airstrikes, but U.S. strikes are more rare.
The U.S. has been warning about Iran’s drone program.