Since mid-October, bases housing U.S. troops in Iraq and Syria have come under attack at least 102 times, a defense official confirmed to Military Times on Friday.
That number includes 47 incidents in Iraq and 55 in Syria, the official said, “by a mix of one-way attack drones, rockets, mortars, and close-range ballistic missiles.”
Most of the attacks either didn’t reach bases or were shot down by U.S. defenses, the official added.
The small number that did, however, have resulted in 66 injuries to U.S. troops, a number that has held steady since Dec. 7.
The Pentagon has characterized the injuries, to include dozens of traumatic brain injuries, as “non-serious.” All of the troops have since returned to duty, the defense official confirmed.
The U.S. military has carried out three strikes on facilities used by Iran-backed militia groups in Syria in response to the ongoing attacks, in addition to running down at least one group of perpetrators following an attack in Iraq.
Pentagon officials have declined to tie the surge in attacks to the U.S.’ support of Israel in its war against Hamas, but have warned that Iran’s support of these groups could further deteriorate the situation in the Middle East.
“Attacks by these Iranian proxies threaten the region’s citizens and risk a broader conflict,” Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin said during a press conference on Monday in Israel. “Of course, the United States does not seek war, and we urgently call on Iran to take steps to de-escalate.”
Meghann Myers is the Pentagon bureau chief at Military Times. She covers operations, policy, personnel, leadership and other issues affecting service members.