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No co-ordination with Israel on Syria strikes – US officials

The United States did not coordinate with Israel, nor did they inform them beforehand about today’s air strikes in eastern Syria, US officials told reporters at the Pentagon briefing.

They reiterated that the incident was not related to the Israel-Hamas conflict. Earlier, Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin stressed in a statement that the strikes were “separate and distinct” from what was happening in Gaza and “did not constitute a shift in our approach” to the conflict.

Pentagon officials also said the strikes were aimed at sending a clear message to Iran.

“What we want is for Iran to take very specific actions to direct its militias and proxies to stand down,” one official said.

The US is moving more troops into the Middle East, including Fighter Jets

In another development, the Pentagon reports that more than 20 US military personnel have been injured in attacks. According to the Pentagon, in recent days, drone and rocket strikes on military bases in Iraq and Syria have injured a total of 21 US military personnel.

Read Also: Israel Arrests 120 Militants As EU Backs Gaza Aid

It said that they had suffered minor injuries, although a civilian contractor also died from a “cardiac incident” while sheltering from a possible attack.

US and coalition troops have been attacked at least 12 times in Iraq and four times in Syria since the conflict between Israel and Hamas began.

American officials attribute the attacks to Iranian proxy groups operating in the region. Iran backs both Hamas and Hezbollah in Lebanon with arms as well as money.

The United States has about 900 troops stationed in Syria and 2,500 in neighbouring Iraq. On Thursday, the US said it was moving 900 more troops to the region.

Earlier, the White House said that Joe Biden warned Iran against targeting US personnel in the Middle East via a rare message to Iran’s Supreme Leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei.


by our Correspondents with reports from BBC News

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