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U.S. reports no casualties in 'ineffective' drone strike near U.S. base in Syria

Debris from an unsuccessful drone attack near the United States' Tanf base in southeast Syria after coalition forces shot down the unmanned aircraft. Another drone struck without causing any casualties or damage. Photo courtesy of Operation Inherent Resolve.
Debris from an unsuccessful drone attack near the United States' Tanf base in southeast Syria after coalition forces shot down the unmanned aircraft. Another drone struck without causing any casualties or damage. Photo courtesy of Operation Inherent Resolve.

Aug. 15 (UPI) -- U.S.-backed coalition leaders condemned what they called an "ineffective" drone attack Monday on a United States base in southeast Syria, which houses U.S. troops and their Syrian allies. U.S. forces reported no deaths, no injuries and no damage.

Images from the strike showed pieces of a demolished drone, after the unmanned aircraft was shot down early Monday morning by coalition forces and the Maghaweir al-Thowra partner forces. A second strike hit the compound near al-Tanf Garrison without causing any damage to the base, according to a press release from Combined Joint Task Force -- Operation Inherent Resolve. The global coalition is working to defeat what remains of the ISIS caliphate in Iraq and Syria.

Maj. Gen. John Brennan, the commander of Combined Joint Task Force -- Operation Inherent Resolve, condemned the attack and applauded the forces' swift response.

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"Such attacks put the lives of innocent Syrian civilians at risk and undermine the significant efforts by our Partner Forces to maintain the lasting defeat of ISIS," Brennan said. "Coalition personnel retain the right to self-defense, and we will take appropriate measure to protect our forces."

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Operation Inherent Resolve did not say who was responsible for the drone attacks. Past attacks on the Tanf base have been blamed on Iran and Russia. More frequent rocket strikes have targeted U.S. bases in northeast Syria where U.S.-allied Kurdish troops control the area.

"We have confidence in our ability to protect our troops and Coalition partners from attacks from the air," said Col. Joe Buccino, the director of public affairs for United States Central Command. "Our countermeasures are effective."

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Besides 900 U.S. troops stationed throughout Syria, the Tanf base located in the desert near the Jordanian and Iraqi borders hosts about 300 MaT troops who train and carry out operations with coalition forces, according to the Defense Department. The MaT announced the unsuccessful attack in a tweet Monday saying "Together, we stand ready to defend the 55 kilometer zone and fight for a free Syria."

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Brennan said Monday's unsuccessful attack will not deter the coalition or the MaT from fighting an ISIS resurgence, as they continue to work together to ensure regional stability.

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"This reflects the strength of partnership and commitment, traits that are not possessed by those who would seek to reopen the door to ISIS," he said.

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