Headline RoundupMarch 24th, 2023

US Strikes Hit Syria After Suicide Drone Kills US Contractor

AllSides Summary

The U.S. military carried out air strikes against Iran-linked groups in Syria after a suicide drone attack killed a U.S. contractor, according to Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin.

The Strike on US Troops: A suicide drone struck a coalition base in northeast Syria on Thursday, killing one U.S. contractor and wounding five servicemembers and another contractor. U.S. intel believes the drone is of Iranian origin.

Retaliation: Austin said Thursday that "At the direction of President Biden, I authorized U.S. Central Command forces to conduct precision airstrikes tonight in eastern Syria against facilities used by groups affiliated with Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC). The airstrikes were conducted in response to today’s attack as well as a series of recent attacks against Coalition forces in Syria by groups affiliated with the IRGC." The U.S. strikes killed at least eight pro-Iranian fighters, according to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights. No civilian casualties were reported.

For Context: The head of U.S. Central Command testified to Congress Thursday that there have been 78 attacks against bases and facilities housing U.S. troops in Iraq and Syria since January 2021. Roughly 900 U.S. troops are stationed in southern and eastern Syria for counterterrorism operations, without explicit permission from the Syrian government.

How the Media Covered It: Sources across the spectrum highlighted the news as a top story on Friday, and covered the details similarly.

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