Armed groups backed by the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) in Syria have received precision-guided missiles, Sky News Arabia reported on April 3, citing an official in the United States Department of Defense.
The unnamed official told the Abu Dhabi-based news channel that the U.S. is expecting further escalation by Iranian-backed groups in the war-torn country, without providing any additional details.
Iranian-backed groups attacked three U.S. bases in the northeastern Syrian governorates of al-Hasakah and Deir Ezzor on March 23 and 24. The attacks, which were carried out with unguided rockets and suicide drones, claimed the life of a U.S. military contractor and left 12 U.S. service members and a second U.S. contractor wounded.
The U.S. Central Command responded to the attacks by carrying out a series of strikes against IRGC-linked positions in Deir Ezzor. At least eight Iran-aligned fighters were killed.
The information the DoD official revealed to Sky News Arabia indicates that the IRGC and its allies are preparing more attacks against U.S. forces in Syria, and possibly Iraq.
Around 900 U.S. troops are currently deployed between several oil and gas fields in Syria’s northeastern region and a garrison in the southeastern area of al-Tanf.
Precision-guided missiles would allow Iranian-backed groups to inflict much more losses on U.S. forces as they are more accurate than unguided rockets and harder to intercept than suicide drones which were used in previous attacks.
The U.S. appears to be taking this threat seriously as it is already taking measures to deter Iran. Last week, Washington deployed an additional squadron of attack aircraft in the Middle East and extended the deployment of a carrier strike group in the Mediterranean Sea.