The United States conducted strikes on a weapon storage facility in eastern Syria that was used by Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) and affiliated groups. This is the second time in recent weeks that the U.S. has carried out such strikes. Tensions have been escalating over the Israel-Hamas conflict, and Iran-backed forces have attacked U.S. and coalition troops at least 40 times since October, resulting in injuries to 45 U.S. troops. U.S. Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin stated that the strikes were in response to these recent attacks and emphasized that the attacks against U.S. troops must stop. He warned that if the attacks continue, further necessary measures will be taken to protect American forces. Retaliatory strikes against Iranian-backed forces have been occasionally carried out by the United States in the region. On October 26, U.S. forces attacked two facilities used by the IRGC and its supported groups. The U.S. has 900 troops in Syria and an additional 2,500 in neighboring Iraq, with a mission to advise and assist local forces in preventing the resurgence of the Islamic State. There is growing concern that the Israel-Hamas conflict could spread throughout the Middle East and pose a threat to U.S. troops at isolated bases. In a separate incident, a U.S. MQ-9 drone was shot down near Yemen by the Iran-aligned Houthi movement. The United States has deployed warships and fighter aircraft to the region to deter Iran and Iran-backed groups since the start of the Israel-Hamas conflict. RushHourDaily has reported that the U.S. military is implementing new measures to protect its forces in the Middle East, including increased patrols, restricted access to base facilities, and enhanced intelligence collection through drone and surveillance operations.
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