(NewsNation) — U.S. forces launched targeted airstrikes on sites in Syria after a strike Thursday by a suspected Iranian-made drone killed a U.S. contractor and wounded six other Americans.
Military experts NewsNation spoke to said the attack on U.S. troops is part of a broader power struggle for control of the region.
“Iran, supporting these Syrian militia, really wants to oust the United States from Syria,” said retired Lt. Gen. Richard Newton on “NewsNation: Rush Hour.”
The U.S. has had forces in northeast Syria since 2015 to fight against the Islamic State group and maintains some 900 troops there.
The question for many following the attack is why U.S. air defense systems were unable to take down the drone before it caused lethal damage.
At this point, it’s unclear what went wrong. Newton said there will be a subsequent investigation to ensure it doesn’t happen again.
When asked whether the recent events could portend a broader global conflict, Newton said he doesn’t think so.
“In this particular instance, the events of the last 24 to 48 hours, nowhere near appraoches that [World War III],” said Newton.
There have been 78 attacks on U.S. forces in Syria since January of 2021, Newton pointed out.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.