US launches airstrikes against Iran-linked weapons facility in Syria

US defense secretary Lloyd Austin. Credit: AP

The United States has launched airstrikes on a weapons storage facility in eastern Syria in response to attacks by Iranian-linked groups, the Pentagon has said.

The strike by two American F-15 fighter jets was on a weapons storage facility linked to Iran's Revolutionary Guard.

Quoting an unnamed military source, Syrian state news agency SANA said the strikes caused material damage.

The agency did not mention any casualties or the locations where the airstrikes took place.

Pro-government radio station Sham FM said the sounds of explosions could be heard in the southeastern Sweida province and in some suburbs of the capital, Damascus.

The latest US strike was designed to take out supplies, weapons and ammunition in an effort to erode the abilities of the Iranian-backed militants to attack Americans based in Iraq and Syria. 

“The President has no higher priority than the safety of U.S. personnel, and he directed today’s action to make clear that the United States will defend itself, its personnel, and its interests,” defence secretary Lloyd Austin said in a statement.

The U.S. wants to hit Iranian-backed groups suspected of targeting the U.S. as strongly as possible to deter future aggression, possibly fuelled by Israel’s war against Hamas.

Meanwhile, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said the strike in Sweida province targeted an air defence and radar unit.

Suburbs in Damascus were hit by at least three further strikes, wounding three people. No further details were provided.

Israel has carried out hundreds of strikes on targets in government-controlled parts of neighboring Syria in recent years, but it rarely acknowledges them.

Israel did not immediately comment on the alleged airstrikes.

Lat month, the US carried out a similar round of attacks against targets, belonging to militant groups operating under the umbrella of the Islamic Resistance in Iraq.

Want a quick and expert briefing on the biggest news stories? Listen to our latest podcasts to find out What You Need To Know...