The near-daily attacks on US forces in Iraq and Syria have stopped since a truce between Israel and Hamas went into effect last week, the Pentagon said Tuesday. AFP
American forces in the two countries have been targeted with rockets and drones more than 70 times since mid-October, a surge in violence the United States has blamed on Iran-backed forces.
"There have been no attacks on US forces in Iraq and Syria since November 23, since the operational pause began," Pentagon spokesman Brigadier General Pat Ryder told journalists.
The attacks have caused injuries to dozens of American personnel, who are in Iraq and Syria as part of efforts to prevent a resurgence of the Islamic State group, but all have since returned to duty.
The spike in attacks on US forces is linked to the Israeli war on Gaza, triggered on October 7 when according to Israeli officials, the Hamas movement took around 240 captives and killed 1,200 people in the deadliest attack in the country's history
In response, Israel vowed to "crush" Hamas and initiated a lethal and barbaric air, sea, and ground invasion against civilians in the Gaza Strip.
The Palestinian health ministry reports that nearly 15,000 people, two-thirds of them women and children, have been killed by the Israeli offensive on Gaza.
Those deaths have provoked widespread anger in the Middle East and provided an impetus for attacks against American troops in the region by armed groups opposed to their presence and to Washington's backing for Israel.
A four-day truce mediated by Qatar went into effect on November 24 under which Hamas released captives and Israel freed Palestinian prisoners.
The truce has since been extended and mediators are working for a lasting halt to the seven-week Israeli war on the Gaza Strip.
The United States was flying drones over Gaza as part of efforts to locate captives taken by Hamas, but those activities have been paused as part of the truce, Ryder said.
* This story was edited by Ahram Online.