The Pentagon said Thursday that there have been 58 attacks on U.S. troops by Iranian proxies in Iraq and Syria since Oct. 17.
Pentagon Deputy Press Secretary Sabrina Singh told reporters during a briefing that 27 of the attacks took place in Iraq, while the other 31 were in Syria.
Seven of the attacks in Syria have taken place since Sunday, appearing as if the rate of attacks on U.S. troops is not slowing.
PENTAGON CONFIRMS 56 ATTACKS ON US TROOPS IN IRAQ AND SYRIA SINCE OCT. 17
When asked if the Pentagon is waiting for a member of the service to be killed before taking stronger and more effective action against the proxies, Singh replied, “No, absolutely not.”
“I mean, we would never want to see that. We would never want that to be the outcome of any attack,” the spokesperson said. “We’re not waiting on something to act. We are…we have responded, and if there are more attacks, we will certainly respond at a time and place of our choosing.”
Singh also spoke about action taken by the USS Thomas Hudner, an Arleigh Burke-Class destroyer, which shot down a drone from Yemen in the Red Sea on Wednesday.
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The drone was heading toward the Hudner when the ship shot it down. It was the latest drone attack in a series of attacks on American troops stationed in the Middle East amid the ongoing Israel-Hamas war.
Singh relayed a common message heard in Pentagon briefings lately, which is that the U.S. always reserves the right to respond at a time and place of its choosing.
But she also gave insight on whether the drone posed a direct threat to the ship or not.
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“Our assessment right now is that the intended target was not the Hudner, but that the drone got so close to the crew that the commander did feel it necessary to engage and shoot down the drone,” Singh said, concurring with a reporter that the action was in self-defense. “Our assessment right now is that it was not targeting the Hudner, but it was headed in that general direction.”
Last week, the Iranian-backed Houthis shot down a U.S. MQ-9 Reaper drone near the Yemini Coast.
The drone was reportedly surveilling Yemen when a Houthi militia fired at the equipment, estimated to cost about $30 million.
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Since the drone was shot down, the U.S. has not responded, and the Houthis have threatened to act against Israeli ships in the Red Sea.