Soldiers deployed to At-Tanf Garrison in Syria watch for the impact of an 81 mm mortar from an observation point during an exercise in 2020.

Soldiers deployed to At-Tanf Garrison in Syria watch for the impact of an 81 mm mortar from an observation point during an exercise in 2020. (William Howard/U.S. Army)

WASHINGTON — A fighter jet from the U.S.-led coalition in Iraq and Syria destroyed a militant rocket launcher after a failed attack Sunday near a base in Syria hosting U.S. troops, a Pentagon official said Monday.

No U.S. personnel were injured in the attack at the base near Rumalyn, according to Air Force Maj. Gen. Pat Ryder, the Pentagon’s top spokesman.

The Iraqi Security Media Cell, an official body responsible for disseminating security information, said in a statement that Iraqi forces had launched a “search and inspection operation” Sunday targeting the attackers near the Iraq-Syria border.

The attacks came after a huge blast at a military base in Iraq on Saturday killed a member of an Iraqi security force, Reuters reported.

A post on a Telegram group affiliated with Kataib Hezbollah militants said armed factions in Iraq had decided to resume attacks after an almost three-month halt because the U.S.-led military coalition remains in Iraq.

U.S. officials announced in January that talks would begin with the Iraqi government about the future of the U.S.-led mission to defeat the Islamic State, including the presence of American troops in the country.

Reports from the region also claimed al Asad Air Base in Iraq came under a recent drone attack. Ryder said he has seen those reports, and U.S. Central Command, responsible for American forces in the Middle East and central Asia, is looking into them. Ryder added there is no indication whether al Asad was the target.

CENTCOM did not respond Monday for comment.

The attack in Syria is the first against U.S. forces in the region since early February, though Ryder did not confirm it.

The U.S. military began airstrikes in Iraq and Syria on Feb. 2 in response to a Jan. 28 drone attack in Jordan that killed three American soldiers. U.S. forces struck some 85 targets, and military officials have credited the response for deterring militant groups in Iraq and Syria from continuing attacks against U.S. forces.

The unofficial detente came after a period that saw the Iranian-linked groups launch some 175 attacks on U.S. forces in Iraq and Syria after the Oct. 7 attack by Hamas militants on Israel. The surprise attack by Hamas fighters raised tensions across the region as Israel launched a retaliatory war against Gaza, the Palestinian enclave controlled by Hamas.

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Matthew Adams covers the Defense Department at the Pentagon. His past reporting experience includes covering politics for The Dallas Morning News, Houston Chronicle and The News and Observer. He is based in Washington, D.C.

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