Following a drone strike by Iranian forces that killed one American contractor and wounded five U.S. service members and another contractor, the U.S. military retaliated by conducting multiple precision airstrikes in Syria on Thursday. The Pentagon confirmed that the UAV that crashed into the coalition base was of Iranian origin, prompting the President to authorize a proportional and deliberate response that limited the risk of escalation. Secretary of Defense Lloyd J. Austin III said, "At the direction of President Biden, I authorized U.S. Central Command forces to conduct precision airstrikes tonight in eastern Syria against facilities used by groups affiliated with Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC)." [tweet_embed]March 24, 2023[/tweet_embed] A U.S. airstrike on an arms depot killed 6 Iranians, and another strike at a post near Mayadeen killed another two Iranians. "As President Biden has made clear, we will take all necessary measures to defend our people and will always respond at a time and place of our choosing," he added. U.S. Central Command Commander General Michael Kurilla said that the U.S. is postured for scalable options in the face of any additional Iranian attacks. He expressed his condolences for the contractor's family killed in the initial strike. "We will always take all necessary measures to defend our people and will always respond at a time and place of our choosing. We are postured for scalable options in the face of any additional Iranian attacks,” he added. The U.S. currently has roughly 900 troops stationed in Syria to ensure the enduring defeat of ISIS, which benefits the security and stability of the entire region. Secretary Austin concluded his remarks by emphasizing that the U.S. "will always respond at a time and place of our choosing."