U.S. troops in northeast Syria came under rocket fire Monday night after Iran-backed militias vowed revenge for U.S. airstrikes earlier that day in Iraq and Syria, a sign that fighting may be evolving into sustained confrontation.
Wayne Marotto, said that multiple rockets had been fired at U.S. troops and that American forces responded by firing artillery at the rocket launching positions.
Secretary of State Antony Blinken said that President Biden is “Fully prepared to act and act appropriately and deliberately to protect U.S. interests,” if Iran-backed militia continued to attack American forces in the region.
“The pace of activity directed at U.S. forces and the repeated retaliatory strikes against Iranian proxy forces are starting to look like what would qualify as a pattern of hostilities under the War Powers Act,” he said in a statement.
Sen. Bob Menendez, the New Jersey Democrat who chairs the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, said he would be seeking more information from the administration about the threats U.S. forces face and details on legal authority.
The militias vowed to drive U.S. forces out of the country after President Trump ordered an airstrike that killed senior Iranian general Qassem Soleimani and top Iraqi militia leader Abu Mahdi al-Mohandes in January 2020.