The New York Times: Iran was behind a drone attack on a US base in Syria last month in response to an Israeli raid
The New York Times quoted US and Israeli officials as saying that the drone strike that targeted a US base in Al-Tanf (southern Syria) last month was an Iranian response to an Israeli raid in Syria.
A senior US military official said for the newspaper Two out of the 5 drones that were loaded with explosive devices exploded, and the aim of the raid was to kill, but it did not result in injuries.
The newspaper also quoted US and Israeli officials that the examination conducted on 3 unexploded planes proved that they used technology similar to that employed by Iranian-backed militias in Iraq.
The New York Times indicated that US officials believe that Iran issued instructions and equipped proxy forces that carried out the attack on the base housing 200 American soldiers.
The newspaper quoted an American official as saying that the Iranians were reluctant to attack Israel directly for fear of retaliation, and they preferred to resort to the second option, which is to strike the Americans.
The US official added that Iran wanted to avoid direct confrontation with the Americans, but took a big risk by attacking the Al-Tanf base.
He considered that it was possible that Tehran would force Washington to respond militarily in the event that American soldiers were killed at Al-Tanf base.
The New York Times quoted two senior officials in Washington that Iran may have thought the air strike would be seen as a militia initiative rather than Tehran.
Iran has not officially claimed responsibility for the attack, but the Iranian media has praised it.
“There have been a number of these incidents in which they accused Iran without any evidence or documents,” Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman Saeed Khatibzadeh said in a press conference last week.
He added that the countries that established military bases in Syria without an invitation from the regime and that some countries’ continued support for “terrorism” are the real cause of instability in the region and in Syria.
Al-Tanf base is located on a vital route for Iranian-backed forces, as it runs from Tehran through Iraq and Syria to southern Lebanon and the Israeli border.
The US response to this raid was to announce new sanctions on two senior members of the Revolutionary Guards and two other Iranian officials, in addition to two companies that the United States says are linked to the Revolutionary Guards’ drone program.