A US contractor was killed and five US service members and a US contractor were injured on Thursday when a suicide drone struck a Coalition base near Hasakah in northeastern Syria shortly before 2 p.m. local time, the Pentagon said in a statement. release.

The intelligence community believes the drone was of Iranian origin, according to the statement. The United States retaliated with airstrikes against Iran-linked targets in the area.

Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin said: “At the direction of President Biden, I have authorized US Central Command forces to conduct precision airstrikes tonight in eastern Syria against facilities used by affiliated groups. to the Iranian Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC)”.

«The airstrikes were carried out in response to today’s attack, as well as a series of recent attacks on Coalition forces in Syria by IRGC-affiliated groups.»

«Our thoughts are with the family and colleagues of the contractor who was killed and injured in today’s attack,» Austin said.

Two injured service members were treated at the scene, while three others and the injured US contractor were evacuated to medical facilities in Iraq.

General Michael «Erik» Kurilla, commander of US Central Command, said in testimony before Congress Thursday that there have been 78 attacks on facilities housing US troops in Iraq and Syria since January 2021. The attacks, mainly with drones and rockets. carried out by Iran or Iranian-backed proxies.