The United States on Tuesday accused Iran of recklessly firing missiles into southern Syria, an area where American troops are operating, but said the missiles did not come close to hitting U.S. forces.
A Pentagon statement called the Monday attack “reckless, unsafe and escalatory.”
The U.S. would not say precisely where the barrage of six missiles landed in relation to U.S. troops, but a spokesman said they were never in direct danger of being hit.
“They were not,” said Col. Sean Ryan, a spokesman for the U.S.-led counter Islamic State coalition in Baghdad. “But anytime anyone just fires missiles through uncoordinated air space it’s a threat.”
Iran said it was targeting Islamic State terrorists it believes were responsible for an attack on a military parade in the Iranian city of Ahvaz on Sept. 22 that killed at least 24 people and wounded more than 60.
Despite the fact that the Iranians appeared to be attacking a common enemy, Ryan said the missiles were not welcome. “The coalition is not requesting any support. We can handle things ourselves, so we don’t need anyone else firing into our region,” Ryan said, especially since the U.S. was given no warning of the strike.
“Professional militaries like the coalition and the Russian Federation deconflict our operations for maximum safety,” he said. “I can tell you that Iran took no such measures.”
While not apparently aimed at the U.S. or coalition forces, the missiles did carry an anti-American message. One missile shown on Iranian state television bore the slogans “Death to America, Death to Israel, Death to Al Saud,” referring to Saudi Arabia’s ruling family, according to the Associated Press.
Ryan also said Russia’s plan to deploy its S-300 anti-aircraft system to Syria posed no threat to the U.S. due to the deconfliction protocols between the two countries.