The attack attempt resulted in no casualties or damage, according to a statement from the Joint Joint Task Force – Operation Unwavering Resolve, a global coalition to defeat what’s left of the ISIS caliphate in Iraq and Syria.
US-led coalition forces repelled all but one drone attack near the At-Tanf base. The report said one drone exploded inside a compound used by partner forces Magaveir al-Thawra, resulting in “zero casualties or reports of damage.”
“We are confident in our ability to protect our troops and coalition partners from air attacks,” Colonel Joe Buccino, director of communications for US Central Command, said in a press release. “Our countermeasures are effective.”
Coalition forces “successfully attacked one drone, preventing it from colliding,” the report said. Other drones that attempted to strike “were unsuccessful,” the report said.
Operation Inherent Resolve did not say who was responsible for the drone attacks. However, Iranian-backed militias in the region have frequently targeted U.S. forces in Syria and Iraq.
Maj. Gen. John Brennan, Commander of the Joint Task Force – Operation Unwavering Resolve, said the attack undermines “a significant effort by our partner forces to inflict a final defeat on ISIS.”
“Such attacks endanger the lives of innocent Syrian civilians and undermine the significant efforts of our partner forces to maintain the final defeat of ISIS,” Brennan said. “Coalition personnel reserve the right to self-defense and we will take appropriate measures to protect our forces.”
The US maintains about 900 troops in Syria, mostly distributed between the At-Tanf base and the country’s eastern oil fields.
The base is located in a 20-square-mile deconflict zone near Syria’s border with Jordan, which was set up by Russia and the US-led coalition to prevent accidental contact between the two sides.
In recent years, the area has seen heavy fighting between US and ISIS forces that have established themselves in the area.
In January, the US military launched airstrikes in Syria after indirect fire created what a US-led coalition spokesman called an “imminent threat” to troops near Green Village, a base in the country’s east near the Iraqi border.
While there was no specific attribution of indirect fire, then-Pentagon spokesman John Kirby said the US continues to see threats to US forces in the region from Iranian-backed militias.
“Only in the last few days, some of these groups have taken actions that confirm our ongoing concern for the safety of our people,” Kirby said at a briefing in January.