The U.S. military carried out multiple air strikes in Syria on Thursday night against groups who it blamed for a deadly drone attack that killed an American contractor, injured another and wounded five U.S. troops earlier in the day, the Pentagon said.

Iran PressAmerica: "Earlier today, a U.S. contractor was killed and five U.S. service members and one additional U.S. contractor were wounded after a one-way unmanned aerial vehicle struck a maintenance facility on a Coalition base near Hasakah in northeast Syria at approximately 1:38 p.m. local time," the Pentagon said in a statement.

Two of the wounded service members were treated on site, while the other four Americans were medically evacuated to Coalition medical facilities in Iraq, officials said. A U.S. official confirmed to ABC News that both contractors were American.

"At the direction of President [Joe] Biden, I authorized U.S. Central Command forces to conduct precision airstrikes tonight in eastern Syria against facilities used by the attcking groups," Defense Secretary Lloyd J. Austin III said in the statement, issued late Thursday.

"The airstrikes were conducted in response to today's attack, as well as a series of recent attacks against Coalition forces in Syria," he added.

The U.S. has about 900 troops in eastern Syria.

In recent months, some of the bases have been the target of drone attacks.

"These precision strikes are intended to protect and defend U.S. personnel. The United States took proportionate and deliberate action intended to limit the risk of escalation and minimize casualties," the Pentagon statement read.

U.S. Central Command leader Gen. Michael Erik Kurilla said: "There have been 78 such attacks since the beginning of 2021."


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