Several Kurdish fighters lost their lives following a severe drone attack directed at a commando academy situated within the al-Omar oil field in Deir al-Zour. The strike occurred just after midnight on February 4, resulting in significant casualties. This assault has turned the military installation, housing troops from Syria and the United States, into the newest focal point amidst the rapidly intensifying tensions in the Middle East.
Most news sources initially stated that six fighters perished in the event. Yet, information from the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights (SOHR) and the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) revealed that the death toll was actually seven, with an additional 18 individuals sustaining injuries from the drone strike. This incident marked the 108th attack documented by SOHR since its heightened monitoring of the area commenced in October 2023.
Military officials from the United States have not provided confirmation or further details regarding the nationalities of the individuals injured in the incident. It remains uncertain whether any of the 18 individuals affected were American citizens or if they were from other coalition nations with personnel stationed in the vicinity.
Initially, there were inquiries about the party responsible for initiating the strike. Although the SDF initially attributed the action to “Syrian regime-backed mercenaries,” they subsequently retracted that assertion. Shortly afterward, the Islamic Resistance (IR) forces, originating from Iraq and allegedly receiving support from the Iranian government, reportedly took responsibility for the incident.
The attack follows many months of US-led retaliation operations in Iraq and Syria against organizations backed by Iran, including the IF. It also comes soon after a comparable drone strike that occurred only last month on an additional American military installation in Jordan.
A while back, the US military unilaterally decided to stay in Syria in an effort to retaliate against the Islamic State. The Pentagon fully expects to continue protecting US and coalition soldiers in the region, even if it has expressed its desire to avoid an all-out confrontation with Iran.