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US Troops Had Multiple Close Calls In Drone Attacks By Iran-Backed Militias, General Says

The military commander in charge of the U.S. Middle East Command told Congress on Thursday that Iranian-backed militias have fired drones at U.S. military bases in Iraq and Syria, barring a few strokes of good fortune and many more in recent months. He said there was a possibility that a US soldier might have been killed.

Iranian-backed suicide drone attacks linked to U.S. support for Israel have injured dozens of soldiers since October and killed three U.S. Army reservists for the first time in January. Gen. Michael “Eric” Kurilla, head of U.S. Central Command (CENTCOM), said the number could be much higher if U.S. air defense forces are unable to shoot down the explosive-laden drone and miss its target before it reaches the base. He said it could have been higher. , Said Thursday at a Senate Armed Services Committee panel. according to Go to

“If an unmanned aircraft enters a base and hits another object, becomes entangled in a net, or has some other mishap, and if they hit the right target they were aiming for, the service member would have been injured or killed,” Kurilla said. In military parlance, it refers to a drone, or unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV).

Sen. Roger Wicker of Mississippi, the committee's ranking member, asked whether the militia could have achieved their goal “with a little more luck.” (Related: Iran-backed attacks on US forces in Iraq, Syria subside after massive retaliation. Why do the Houthis continue to attack?)

“That's right,” Krilla answered.

Department of Defense official claimed that The United States had taken sufficient steps to ensure that American troops in Iraq and Syria had a capable air defense capability. But Kurilla's comments suggest that the U.S. military may have been in greater danger than officials say.

“I'm not going to go into readiness levels, but I can clearly assure you that counter-drone is a key requirement and it's taken very seriously,” Pentagon spokesperson Maj. Gen.pat rider Said Early February.

Kurilla said militias have carried out 173 missile, rocket and drone attacks against U.S. forces since Oct. 18.

There have been no new attacks on U.S. forces in over a month. Kurilla told parliament that February's large-scale retaliatory attacks on paramilitary groups and facilities associated with Iran's Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRCG) Central Forces and the assassination of militia leaders had an impact.

“The key to establishing deterrence is for Iran to understand that its actions have consequences,” he said. “I think in our last attack against 85 targets, our message was consistent with our actions,” Kurilla said.

Iran has reined in its proxies in Iraq and Syria, but not “in terms of funding and equipment,” Kurilla said. “Deterrence is always temporary,” he added.

Meanwhile, attacks by the Iranian-backed Houthis against ships and U.S. naval vessels in the Red Sea continue to intensify. On Wednesday, a Houthi anti-ship ballistic missile hit a merchant ship, killing three crew members for the first time and leaving several others with severe burns.

“I want to say that Iran is undaunted in its support for the Houthis. They are undaunted in their support for Hezbollah, their support for Hamas, their support for the West Bank,” Kurilla said.

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