Drone attack on US military base in Syria causes minor injuries — US officials

Strike on al-Tanf garrison in country’s southeast comes after several similar incidents amid Arab anger after Gaza hospital blast falsely blamed on Israel

The al-Tanf military outpost in southern Syria, October 22, 2018. (AP/Lolita Baldor)
The al-Tanf military outpost in southern Syria, October 22, 2018. (AP/Lolita Baldor)

WASHINGTON — A military base in southern Syria where US troops have maintained a presence to train forces as part of a broad campaign against the Islamic State group was attacked by drones on Thursday, two US officials told The Associated Press.

One drone was shot down, but another caused minor injuries, said one of the officials, who spoke on condition of anonymity to discuss the matter before an official announcement about the incident.

The attacks follow similar drone strikes over the past few days against US and coalition bases in Iraq amid simmering anger in the region after a deadly explosion at a Gaza hospital parking lot was initially blamed by Hamas and the Arab world on Israel. Israel denied this, and has produced evidence to show that the blast, which killed scores of people, was caused by a misfired rocket terror group launched at Israel by a Palestinian terror group. The US, other Western countries and many analysts have endorsed the Israeli assessment.

The al-Tanf garrison in southeastern Syria is located at a sensitive juncture often used by Iranian-backed jihadists to ferry weapons to the Hezbollah terror group.

Syrian opposition activists also said Thursday that a drone attack was conducted on an oil facility in eastern Syria that houses American troops.

Omar Abu Layla, a Europe-based activist who heads the Deir Ezzor 24 media outlet, said three drones with explosives struck the Conoco gas field in the eastern province of Deir el-Zour that borders Iraq.

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