Three U.S. service members were injured in two rocket attacks on facilities housing U.S. troops in Syria, U.S. Central Command said in a statement.
A service member from Mission Support Site Conoco was treated for a minor injury and has returned to duty, the command, known as CENTCOM, said. Two others are being evaluated for minor injuries.
The United States responded with Apache attack helicopter strikes, a military official said. CENTCOM said the response destroyed three vehicles and equipment that were used to launch some of the rockets and killed two or three suspected Iranian-backed militants believed to be responsible for firing the rockets.
“We are monitoring the situation closely,” said Army General Michael “Erik” Kurilla, commander of CENTCOM. “We have a full range of capabilities to mitigate threats in the region, and we have full confidence in our ability to protect our troops and coalition partners from attack.”
The US bases at Conoco and the Green Village mission support site, both located in northeast Syria, began to come under rocket fire on Wednesday afternoon. It is unclear whether either site suffered damage to structures or equipment.
The attacks began around 7:20 p.m. local time in Syria, and the entire incident, including the attacks and the US military response, lasted approximately two hours.
It is not yet clear which militant group was behind the attacks.
Earlier Wednesday, the United States had launched airstrikes in Syriatargeting what he said was infrastructure used by groups affiliated with Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps.
The strikes were carried out under the direction of President Joe Biden, CENTCOM communications director Col. Joe Buccino said in a statement.
There are not believed to have been any casualties in the strikes, which hit nine bunkers used for storage, a US military official said. The bunkers were described as ammunition depots and logistical supply facilities.
The strikes were carried out by F-15 and F-16 fighters.
The airstrikes were retaliation for the Aug. 15 attacks on US military installations in Syria, the military official said.
“The US strikes targeted infrastructure used by groups affiliated with Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps,” Buccino said.
Asked why the United States responded to the August 15 attacks with strikes early Wednesday, Colin Kahl, the Undersecretary of Defense for Policy, told NBC News: “It’s partly a We don’t want Iran to draw the wrong conclusion that they can keep doing this and get away with it. But part of that was also the nature of the attacks on the 15th. The fact that they were coordinated against two American facilities at the same time. The fact that we think Iran is dead. to attribution rights, that the [drone] the pieces we have collected, for example, go directly back to Tehran.
“I think our concern was that this might be an indication that Iran intends to do more, and we wanted to disabuse them of any sense that this was a good idea.”
US forces are in Syria to fight the Islamic State terrorist group. In July, the military announced a US airstrike in Syria kill a senior Islamic State leader, Maher al-Agal.
US officials have accused Iranian proxies or Iran-backed militias of carry out strikes targeting bases that house US forces in Syria and Iraq.
Iran’s UN mission said this year that the country played no role in the incidents.