US troops came under rocket fire in eastern Syria on Monday in apparent retaliation for weekend American airstrikes against resistance groups in Syria and Iraq.
A US military spokesman said American forces had responded to the multiple rockets, Reuters reported. Colonel Wayne Marotto said US forces “conducted counter-battery artillery fire at rocket launching positions”.
The rocket attack on the Syrian oilfield occupied by US forces reportedly wounded several American soldiers and allied Kurdish militants.
Citing Syrian sources, Russia’s Sputnik news agency said that seven Kurdish militants, including a commander, sustained injuries. It also cited sources close to Kurdish militants as saying that an unidentified number of US soldiers and other foreign troops were wounded in the attack.
Iraqi resistance groups in a statement named four fighters killed in the US attacks on the Syria-Iraq border on Sunday.
Iraq's government condemned the US strikes on its territory and said it would "study all legal options" to prevent such actions from being repeated. Syria called the strikes a "flagrant violation of the sanctity of Syrian and Iraqi lands".
Iraq's military also issued a condemnation of the US strikes.
It was the second time President Joe Biden had ordered strikes against resistance groups since taking office five months ago. He ordered limited strikes in Syria in February.
Biden under fire
Some US Democrats expressed frustration over Biden’s decision to sidestep Congress again. Biden cited his authority under Article II of the Constitution, which allows him to take steps to protect US service members, Press TV wrote.
Some Democrats, however, sounded the alarm about possible abuses of that power, which the US president has employed to circumvent Congress and legally justify various military operations.
“The danger here is that you fall into a pattern of military escalation that becomes war without voters ever having a say,” Senator Chris Murphy, a top member of the Foreign Relations Committee said. “The safest bet for a president is to just claim broad Article II authority.”
Bob Menendez, the Foreign Relations Committee’s chair, also suggested he wants a broader examination of Biden’s legal rationale for the airstrikes.
Thousands of members of Iraq's Popular Mobilization Units (PMU) and ordinary people gathered in Baghdad on Tuesday to mourn fighters killed in the US airstrikes.
With chants of "Death to America" and "Vengeance for the martyrs", the mourners massed in Freedom Square near the Iraqi capital's high-security Green Zone.
Several high-ranking PMU figures took part in the funeral, including its top commander Faleh al-Fayyadh and Hadi al-Ameri, the head of one of its main factions, the Badr Organization, AFP reported.
Many of the mourners wore black and held up signs reading: "Attacks on the PMU must speed up the withdrawal of American troops from Iraq."