A drone strike has targeted a Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) training academy at a base housing US troops in eastern Syria, killing at least six SDF fighters, according to an official statement from the SDF media centre.
The drone attack, identified as coming from areas controlled by factions allied to the Syrian regime, took place shortly after midnight on Sunday into Monday at the Al-Omar oilfield base, one of the largest American military bases in the eastern countryside of Deir Ezzor (Dêrezor).
The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, a UK-based war monitor, reported a higher toll from the strike, saying at least seven SDF fighters were killed and 18 others wounded, some critically. No US troops were reportedly injured in the incident.
Following the strike, the Islamic Resistance in Iraq, an umbrella group of Iranian-backed Iraqi militias, released a video claiming responsibility for the attack and documenting the launch of the drone.
In an updated statement, the SDF confirmed that Iranian-backed militias were behind the attack. “The Iranian-backed militias used the Syrian regime-controlled areas in Deir Ezzor as a staging ground for the terrorist attack that targeted our Commando Academy and resulted in the martyrdom of six of our commando fighters,” the statement said.
According to the video, this strike was part of the ‘Revenge for Gaza’ campaign and marks the first significant attack in the region following a series of US retaliatory strikes over the weekend against Iranian-backed militias. The militias have stepped up attacks on US forces stationed in Syria and Iraq amid rising tensions sparked by the ongoing Israel-Hamas conflict.
In its statement, the SDF stressed the seriousness of the incident, calling it a ‘terrorist act’ and issuing a stern warning asserting a “right to respond appropriately to the source of the attack”.
A military ceremony for the six SDF fighters killed in the drone attack by Iranian-backed militias was organised by the commandos of Syria’s Kurdish-led autonomous regions on Monday.