In a surprise attack on Oct. 7, Hamas militants stormed out of the Gaza Strip, killing more than 1,200 Israelis and abducting dozens more, while firing rockets at cities including Tel Aviv and Jerusalem. Israel has since hit back by commencing a siege of Gaza and firing its own barrage of retaliatory missiles, killing thousands.
The U.S. has publicly pledged to support Israel as it seeks to militarily defeat Hamas and end its rule over the Gaza Strip, which dates back nearly two decades. Tehran-backed proxy groups have threatened to attack U.S. military installations if Israel goes through with its threats to invade the Gaza Strip and occupy it.
A spate of attacks last week spanned several days and targeted bases in both Iraq and Syria. An American contractor died of a cardiac episode while running from a false alarm at al-Asad air base in Iraq.
Several of the service members have suffered traumatic brain injuries, though all have returned to duty.
A U.S. Navy destroyer in the northern Red Sea on Thursday intercepted several missiles and drones launched from the Iranian-backed Yemeni Houthi rebels who were deemed a potential threat.
On Monday, Pentagon spokesperson Brig. Gen. Patrick Ryder told reporters that American troops at the al-Tanf garrison in southern Syria shot down two drones targeting their positions. No service members were injured. Ryder also said on Monday the Pentagon would hold Iran responsible for the strikes against American troops, given Iran’s past support for the groups.