US troops withdrew from two military bases in Syria’s north-eastern province of Hasakah yesterday following the previous night’s missile strikes by Iran on US bases in Iraq in retaliation for the assassination of Major General Qassem Soleimani.
According to local sources American forces left from a base in Kharab Al-Jir area and moved towards the Al-Walid crossing near the Iraqi-Syrian border in a caravan of 40 military trucks, with at least 50 more evacuating another base in Shaddadi towards Houl, east of Hasakah.
Dozens of ballistic missiles targeted the Ain Al-Assad Air Base in Iraq’s western Anbar province in addition to an air base in Erbil located in northern Iraq. In a preliminary assessment, the Pentagon has denied that there were any American fatalities or causalities, whilst Iranian state media has reported that some 80 US troops were killed with 200 others wounded.
A senior official in the Syrian Foreign Ministry yesterday stressed Damascus’ “full solidarity” with Iran and its right to self-defence against US threats and attacks according to Syrian state-run news agency, SANA. “Syria at the same time holds the U.S. regime responsible for all the consequences which are taking place due to its reckless policy and the arrogant mentality which governs its acts and make them acts of gangs not states’ polices,” the source added.
Today a large gathering was also reported at Al-Muhafaza Square in Lattakia to express condemnation of the US assassination of Soleimani along with the deputy commander of the Iraqi Popular Mobilisation Forces Abu Mahdi Al-Muhandis.