Drone Strike Against U.S. Forces in Tanf, Syria

 A coordinated drone and rocket attack, likely from an Iranian-backed militia, struck the U.S. outpost at Tanf in southern Syria on October 20. Groups with ties to Tehran have significantly escalated their attacks on, and use of drones against, U.S. military personnel, partners, and interests in the Middle East this year, probing for weaknesses.

In the near-term, the United States must respond forcefully against the perpetrators of the Tanf attack, and the Iranian network supporting them, to deter further attacks. To protect U.S. personnel from further Iranian-backed attacks it is imperative that the Biden administration restore deterrence against Iran which has only be eroded by its limited and inconsistent retaliation for some past attacks, non-response to many others, withdrawal from Afghanistan, and reduction of U.S. forces in the Middle East. 

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JINSA Staff Contributors

Ari Cicurel – Senior Policy Analyst
Blaise Misztal – Vice President for Policy