The Wall Street Journal
Iran-Backed Militias Fire Rockets In New Attack Aimed At U.S. Forces
Militant assaults and American responses are elevating concerns about a deepening U.S. involvement
by Michael R. Gordon and Jared Malsin
U.S. troops in northeast Syria came under rocket fire Monday night after Iran-backed militias vowed revenge for U.S. airstrikes earlier that day in Iraq and Syria, a sign that fighting may be evolving into sustained confrontation.
A spokesman for the U.S.-led coalition, Col. Wayne Marotto, said that multiple rockets had been fired at U.S. troops and that American forces responded by firing artillery at the rocket launching positions. There were no U.S. injuries, he added.
The rocket attack, which a pro-militia news agency said had occurred near Syria’s al-Omar oil field, came as the Biden administration warned Monday that it stood ready to defend U.S. troops.
Secretary of State Antony Blinken said that President Biden is “fully prepared to act and act appropriately and deliberately to protect U.S. interests,” if Iran-backed militia continued to attack American forces in the region.
The U.S. airstrikes, which Iran-backed militia groups said killed four of their members, highlight the challenge facing the Biden administration as it attempts to deter attacks without provoking an escalation.