US Troops Come Under Fire in Syria; Explosion at Gas Field in SDF Area Reported

US troops have come under fire in Syria, according to the latest reports. The attack on American troops was reported in the Conoco gas field in Deir ez-Zor province of Syria. The area that came under attack is controlled the America-backed Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF).

At least one explosion was reported from the site of attack but no casualties were reported from the American troops. Syrian official news agency SANA said there were 'unusual movements of the occupation forces' after the blast, according to Russia Today.

Pentagon Concerned

Reuters reported that the US defense officials confirmed the incident. However, according to the officials, the the attack was 'indirect'.

Map of US airbases in Iraq
Map of US airbases in Iraq Wikimedia Commons

Pentagon had said last week that it was concerned over a series of attacks on US personnel in Iraq and Syria.

A US strike on the Iraqi-Syrian militia last month, which killed four fighters, had triggered retaliation from the militia. Pentagon Press Secretary John Kirby said the facilities targeted were used by Iran-backed militia groups that launched dozens of drone attacks targeting US interests in the region.

In just the last week alone, at least 14 rockets rained down on the Iraqi air base hosting US forces, injuring two American service members. A week before that a US base near the Omar oil field in Deir Ez-Zor region had come under the attack. Reports also said the SDF had foiled similar attacks in the recent months.

Latest Attack Targeting American Troops

The attack reported on Sunday is the latest such attack targeting the American troops. Various Syrian military bases still controlled by the Americans still hold around 900 US troops. They are mostly in the southern enclave of At Tanf, while a significant number is also based out of the northeast of the country.

US air strikes on libya Isis targets kill 40
A view shows damage at the scene after an airstrike by U.S. warplanes against Islamic State in Sabratha, Libya, February 19, 2016 Reuters

The US has retained the troops in key bases in order to fight the Islamic State insurgents, despite stiff opposition from the government in Damascus.

No group claimed responsibility for the latest attacks, but analysts believe the strikes were driven by Iranian-backed militias, Reuters reported. However, Iran has said it does not support the militia attacks against US interests in the region.

Increasing Attacks

There have been more than 40 attacks against locations that host US soldiers in Iraq since the beginning of the year, even as the Iranian-backed militia groups pressed for a full scaling back of US soldiers from Iraq. The US still hosts more than 2,500 soldiers in the region as part of the fight against the battered down factions of the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria that are still active in the region.