Failed Rocket Strike Launched on US-Led Coalition Forces Base in Syria

Israeli police detain a suspected attacker in an apparent car ramming that wounded three people on the eve of the Jewish holiday of Passover, in Jerusalem
Israeli police detain a suspected attacker in an apparent car ramming that wounded three people on the eve of the Jewish holiday of Passover, in Jerusalem, Monday, April 22, 2024. (AP Photo/Ohad Zwigenberg)

A failed rocket strike was launched at a base housing U.S.-led coalition forces at Rumalyn, Syria, marking the first time since Feb. 4 that Iranian-backed militias have attacked a U.S. facility in Iraq or Syria, a U.S. defense official said. No personnel were injured in the attack.

Iraqi authorities said early Monday that they were searching for “outlaw elements” who launched an estimated five missiles across the border from Iraq into Syria late Sunday night targeting the base. No group has claimed responsibility for the attack.

Also on Monday, a U.S. official said American forces had shot down two drones near al-Asad Air Base in Iraq. The circumstances are under investigation.

Israel’s defense minister on Monday visited members of an infantry battalion that could soon be blocked from receiving American aid because of human rights violations.

Yoav Gallant on Monday told members of Netzah Yehuda battalion stationed on the Gaza border that they have the full backing of the Israeli state and its military.

The decision by the U.S. may come this week and would mark the first time the country has imposed sanctions on a unit inside the Israeli military and would further strain relations between the two allies, which have grown increasingly tense during the Israel-Hamas war.

The conflict, now in its seventh month, has sparked regional unrest pitting Israel and the U.S. against Iran and allied militant groups across the Middle East. Israel and Iran traded fire directly this month, raising fears of all-out war.

The war was sparked by the unprecedented Oct. 7 raid into southern Israel in which Hamas and other militants killed around 1,200 people, mostly civilians, and abducted around 250 hostages. Israel says militants are still holding around 100 hostages and the remains of more than 30 others.

The Israel-Hamas war has killed more than 34,000 Palestinians, according to local health officials, at least two-thirds of them children and women. It has devastated Gaza’s two largest cities and left a swath of destruction. Around 80% of the territory’s population have fled to other parts of the besieged coastal enclave.

The U.S. House of Representatives approved a $26 billion aid package on Saturday that includes around $9 billion in humanitarian assistance for Gaza, which experts say is on the brink of famine, as well as billions for Israel. The U.S. Senate could pass the package as soon as Tuesday, and President Joe Biden has promised to sign it immediately

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