U.S. Forces Face Repeated Strikes in Syria

Unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) and rocket attacks targeted American forces in Syria on August 15, shortly after Israeli airstrikes against Syrian and Iranian positions in Tartus and Damascus. If conducted by Iranian-backed groups, as is likely the case, the strikes indicate that the lack of U.S. retaliation for previous attacks—including recently against American citizens on U.S. soil—combined with ongoing nuclear negotiations has emboldened Tehran and made the United States a more attractive target in comparison to Israel. Iranian-backed groups target U.S. forces because they will not suffer significant consequences. The United States should quickly identify Iran as the perpetrator of the latest attack if true, hold the regime in Tehran directly accountable, retaliate accordingly, end ineffectual nuclear negotiations, and adopt a comprehensive Plan B policy that increases U.S. pressure and leverage on Tehran.

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Ari Cicurel – Senior Policy Analyst