Timeline of Proxy Attacks: Iraq, Syria and Jordan

U.S. forces deployed across the Middle East were attacked more than 160 times by pro-Iranian militias during the first four months of the Gaza war—from October 2023 to February 2024—between Israel and Hamas. They faced barrages of drone, rocket, and missile strikes on their positions in Iraq, Syria, Jordan and the Red Sea. A major turning point was the drone strike that killed three Americans and wounded 34 at a U.S. base in Jordan near the borders abutting Syria and Iraq. In response, U.S. forces have countered with airstrikes on the facilities, arsenals, command positions and training sites of pro-Iranian militias—which together operate in the so-called “Axis of Resistance”—in Iraq, Syria and Yemen. 

The United States was “not going to allow any threat to our interests in the region to go unchallenged,” John Kirby, the National Security Council Coordinator for Strategic Communications, said on October 23. “We will use the military capabilities available to us to protect and defend those interests. And those capabilities are getting bigger and better every day.” President Biden repeatedly warned regional players hoping to escalate or widen the latest Middle East War, “Don’t do it.” But the attacks from the pro-Iranian militias persisted.

 

Attacks on U.S. forces

Iraq

Al Asad Airbase in Iraq: 33 attacks

Oct. 18, Oct. 19, Oct. 21, Oct. 22, Oct. 24, Oct. 26, Oct. 30, Oct. 31, Nov. 9, Nov. 12, Nov. 13, Nov. 15, Nov. 17, Nov. 20, Nov. 21, Nov. 22, Nov. 23, Dec. 3, Dec. 6, Dec. 8, Dec. 11, Jan. 1, Jan. 12, Jan. 20, Jan. 23, Jan. 24, Jan. 26

  • 19 drone attacks
  • 14 rocket attacks

Al Harir Airbase in Iraq: Nine attacks

Oct. 18, Oct. 22, Nov. 3, Nov. 6, Nov. 9, Nov. 22, Dec. 6, Dec. 25, Jan. 25

  • Eight drone attacks
  • One rocket attack

Balad Airbase in Iraq: One attack

Jan. 18

  • One drone fired at a U.S. drone near the base

Erbil Airport in Iraq: Eight attacks

Nov. 23, Dec. 12, Dec. 25, Dec. 31, Jan. 15, Jan. 18, Jan. 24, Jan. 28

  • Six drone attacks
  • One missile attack
  • One unspecified attack

U.S. Embassy in Baghdad, Iraq: One attack

Dec. 8 

  • One mortar attack

 

Syria

Al Tanf Garrison in Syria: Nine attacks

 Oct. 19, Oct. 23, Oct. 28, Nov. 1, Nov. 6, Nov. 10, Nov. 18, Jan. 19, Jan. 28

  • Nine drone attacks

Conoco Oil Field in eastern Syria: 19 attacks

Oct. 19, Nov. 7, Nov. 12, Nov. 14, Nov. 18, Nov. 23, Dec. 8, Dec. 12, Dec. 13, Dec. 28, Jan. 10, Jan. 14, Jan. 22, Jan. 27, Feb. 11

  • 10 drone attacks
  • Eight rocket attacks
  • 1 unspecified attack

Al Shaddadi Base in al Hasakah Syria: 13 attacks

Oct. 26, Oct. 28, Nov. 2, Nov. 4, Nov. 21, Dec. 11, Dec. 14, Dec. 26, Jan. 21, Jan. 27

  • 11 drone attacks
  • Two rocket attacks

Green Village at the Al Omar Oil Field in eastern Syria: 16 attacks

 Oct. 23, Oct. 27, Oct. 28, Oct. 29, Oct. 30, Oct. 31, Nov. 6, Nov. 14, Dec. 11, Jan. 14, Jan. 21, Jan 27, Feb. 4, Feb. 8

  • 11 rocket attacks
  • Six drone attacks

Kharab al Jir Base in al Hasakah, Syria: Nine attacks

Oct. 25, Nov. 3, Nov. 5, Nov. 11, Nov. 13, Dec. 3, Jan. 15, Jan. 24

  • Seven rocket attacks
  • Two drone attacks

Al Malikiyah Base in Hasakah, Syria: One attack

 Dec. 24

  • One drone attack

Tal Baydar Base in al Hasakah, Syria: Three attacks

 Nov. 5, Nov. 6, Nov. 17 

  • Three drone attacks

Jordan

Tower 22 base in northeast Jordan: One attack

Jan. 28

  • One drone attack

 

Iran-backed Militia Attacks on U.S. forces

October 2023

Oct. 18: The Islamic Resistance in Iraq, an umbrella group for Shiite militias backed by Iran, fired two drones on U.S. forces at Al Asad airbase in Iraq’s western Anbar province. Both were intercepted by U.S. forces. The Pentagon reported minor injuries to four troops. Some 2,500 Americans were based in Iraq as part of the U.S.-led coalition against ISIS. Al Asad was the largest Iraqi base used by U.S. forces.

Oct. 18: The Islamic Resistance in Iraq claimed responsibility for a drone strike on U.S. forces at Al Harir airbase Iraq’s northern Kurdistan region. The drone crashed near the village of Batas.

Oct. 19: The Islamic Resistance in Iraq fired three drones at U.S. forces at the Al Tanf military base on the Baghdad-to-Damascus highway in eastern Syria. The first drone was shot down, but the second drone caused minor injuries to 20 troops.

Oct. 19: Al Nujaba Movement, an Iranian-backed militia, fired two rockets and three drones at U.S. forces based at the Conoco oil field in northeast Syria.

Oct. 19: The Islamic Resistance in Iraq claimed responsibility for a drone and rocket attack on Al Asad air base that hosted U.S. and international forces aiding the Iraqi military against ISIS. One U.S. citizen contractor died due to heart failure.

Oct. 19: An unidentified militia fired a rocket at the Baghdad Diplomatic Support Center, used by U.S. forces and Operation Inherent Resolve coalition forces, at Baghdad International Airport.

Oct. 19: Houthi forces in Yemen launched three rockets and drones in the direction of Israel that were intercepted by the USS Carney in the northern Red Sea.

Oct. 21: The Islamic Resistance in Iraq fired a drone at Al Asad airbase.

Oct. 22: The Islamic Resistance in Iraq launched a drone at Al Harir airbase in Iraq.

Oct. 22: An unidentified group fired Katyusha rockets at Al Asad airbase.

Oct. 23: The Islamic Resistance in Iraq fired a drone at Al Tanf military base.

Oct. 23: The Islamic Resistance in Iraq fired a drone at Al Omar oil field in Deir Ezzor, Syria.

Oct. 23: The Islamic Resistance in Iraq fired a drone at Al Malikiyah base in Syria rocket.

Oct. 24: The Islamic Resistance in Iraq launched rockets at Al Asad airbase.

Oct. 25: The Islamic Resistance in Iraq fired rockets at the Kharab al Jir base, in northeast Syria.

Oct. 26: The Islamic Resistance in Iraq attacked Al Asad airbase with an unspecified drones.

Oct. 26: The Islamic Resistance in Iraq targeted Al Shaddadi Base, in northeast Syria, with a rocket.

Oct. 27: An unconfirmed militia hit Al Omar base with six rockets.

Oct. 28: The Islamic Resistance in Iraq targeted Al Shaddadi Base with a drone.

Oct. 28: The Islamic Resistance in Iraq attacked Al Tanf base with two drones.

Oct. 28: An unconfirmed militia hit Al Omar oil field with six rockets. 

Oct. 29: The Islamic Resistance in Iraq launched a drone attack on Al Shaddadi Base .

Oct. 30: The Islamic Resistance in Iraq, fired 15 rockets at Al Omar base.

Oct. 30: The Islamic Resistance in Iraq hit Al Asad airbase with four rockets.

Oct. 31: Kataib Hezbollah in Iraq attacked Al Asad airbase with two drones.

Oct. 31: The Islamic Resistance in Iraq launched an unspecified number rockets on Al Omar oil field.

Oct. 31: The Islamic Resistance in Iraq fired an unspecified number rockets on Al Omar oil field.

November 2023

Nov. 1: The Islamic Resistance in Iraq attacked Al Tanf military base with two drones.

Nov. 2: The Islamic Resistance in Iraq struck Al Shaddadi Base with an unspecified number of drones.

Nov. 3: The Islamic Resistance in Iraq targeted Al Harir airbase with two drones.

Nov. 3: The Islamic Resistance in Iraq attacked Kharab al Jir base with four rockets.

Nov. 4: The Islamic Resistance in Iraq targeted Al Shaddadi Base with two drones.

Nov. 5: The Islamic Resistance in Iraq launched a drone attack on Tal Baydar base in Syria.

Nov. 5: Al Dhaferin Group, part of the Islamic Resistance in Iraq, fired four mortar shells at Al Asad airbase.

Nov. 5: The Islamic Resistance in Iraq targeted Al Tanf garrison with an unspecified number of drones.

Nov. 5: The Islamic Resistance in Iraq launched an unspecified number of drones at Tal Baydar base.

Nov. 6: The Islamic Resistance in Iraq attacked Al Asad airbase with two drones and a rocket.

Nov. 7: The Islamic Resistance in Iraq launched a drone attack at Al Harir base.

Nov. 7: The Islamic Resistance in Iraq targeted with a drone Al Harir airbase with two drones.

Nov. 7: The Islamic Resistance in Iraq attacked Al Omar oil field with an unspecified number of rockets.

Nov. 8: The Islamic Resistance in Iraq launched an unspecified number of rockets on Al Shaddadi Base .

Nov. 9: The Islamic Resistance in Iraq targeted Al Harir airbase with two drones. 

Nov. 9: The Islamic Resistance in Iraq hit the Conoco oil field base with an unspecified number of drones and rockets.

Nov. 9: The Islamic Resistance in Iraq attacked Al Asad airbase with an unspecified number of drones.  

Nov. 9: The Islamic Resistance in Iraq launched a drone attack on Al Harir airbase

Nov. 10: The Islamic Resistance in Iraq targeted Al Tanf garrison with one drone.     

Nov. 11: The Islamic Resistance in Iraq struck Kharab al Jir base with an unspecified number of rockets.  

Nov. 12: The Dhafireen group fired Al Asad airbase in Iraq with an unspecified number of mortars.

Nov. 12: The Islamic Resistance in Iraq hit Conoco oil field base with a drone attack. 

Nov. 12: The Islamic Resistance in Iraq targeted Al Shaddadi Base with an unspecified number of rockets. 

Nov. 13: The Islamic Resistance in Iraq launched two drone attacks on Kharab al Jir base

Nov. 13: The Islamic Resistance in Iraq fired an unspecified number of mortars at Al Asad airbase.

Nov. 14: The Islamic Resistance in Iraq targeted Conoco oil field base with a drone attack. 

Nov. 14: The Islamic Resistance in Iraq hit Al Omar oil field with a drone attack.  

Nov. 15: The Islamic Resistance in Iraq struck Al Asad airbase in Iraq with an unspecified number of rockets.

Nov. 17: The Islamic Resistance in Iraq targeted Al Asad airbase in Iraq with two drones. 

Nov. 17: The Islamic Resistance in Iraq hit Al Harir airbase in Iraq with a drone attack.  

Nov. 17: The Islamic Resistance in Iraq attacked Tal Baydar base with a drone. One U.S. soldier was injured.  

Nov. 18: The Islamic Resistance in Iraq launched an unspecified number of rockets on Conoco oil field base

Nov. 18: The Islamic Resistance in Iraq hit Al Omar oil field with an unspecified number of drones.  

Nov. 18: The Islamic Resistance in Iraq targeted Al Tanf garrison with an unspecified number of drones.     

Nov. 19: The Islamic Resistance in Iraq attacked Al Harir airbase with a drone.  

Nov. 20: The Islamic Resistance in Iraq struck Al Asad airbase with an unspecified number of rockets. Pentagon officials stated that close range ballistic missiles were used in the attack.  

Nov. 21: The Islamic Resistance in Iraq launched an unspecified number of rockets on Al Asad airbase.  

Nov. 21: The Islamic Resistance in Iraq hit Al Shaddadi Base with an unspecified number of drones or rockets.  

Nov. 22: The Islamic Resistance in Iraq targeted Al Asad airbase with an unspecified number of rockets.   

Nov. 22: The Islamic Resistance in Iraq attacked Al Harir airbase with a drone.  

Nov. 23: The Islamic Resistance in Iraq struck Conoco oil field base with an unspecified number of rockets.  

Nov. 23: The Islamic Resistance in Iraq hit Al Asad airbase with an unspecified number of drones.

Nov. 23: The Islamic Resistance in Iraq targeted Erbil Airport with an unspecified number of drones.  

December 2023

Dec. 3: The Islamic Resistance in Iraq attacked Al Asad airbase with a drone.  

Dec. 3: The Islamic Resistance in Iraq fired seven rockets at Kharab al Jir base.  

Dec. 6: The Islamic Resistance in Iraq hit Al Asad airbase with a drone.

Dec. 6: The Islamic Resistance in Iraq targeted Al Asad airbase with a drone.

Dec. 6: The Islamic Resistance in Iraq attacked Al Harir airbase with a drone.

Dec. 8: The Islamic Resistance in Iraq launched a rocket attack on Conoco oil field base.

Dec. 8: The Islamic Resistance in Iraq fired a rocket at Al Asad airbase.

Dec. 8: The Islamic Resistance in Iraq targeted Al Asad airbase with a drone attack.

Dec. 8: Kataib Sayyid al Shuhada launched several mortar shells against the U.S. Embassy compound in Baghdad, Iraq.

Dec. 11: The Islamic Resistance in Iraq hit Al Shaddadi Base with an unspecified number of rockets.

Dec. 11:  The Islamic Resistance in Iraq attacked Al Asad airbase with a drone.

Dec. 11: The Islamic Resistance in Iraq targeted Al Asad airbase with a drone attack.

Dec.11: The Islamic Resistance in Iraq hit Al Omar oil field with an unspecified number of drones.

Dec. 12: The Islamic Resistance of Iraq fired rockets at U.S. forces at the Green Village near the al Omar oil field in Syria. 

Dec. 12: The Islamic Resistance of Iraq twice fired drones on U.S. forces at the al Asad airbase in Iraq.

Dec. 12: The Islamic Resistance of Iraq launched a rocket attack on U.S. forces at al Shaddadi base in eastern Syria. 

Dec. 13: The Islamic Resistance of Iraq fired drones on U.S. forces at al Tanf Garrison in Syria.

Dec. 13: The Islamic Resistance of Iraq fired twice on U.S. forces at the Conoco oil field base in Syria.  

Dec. 14: The Islamic Resistance of Iraq fired drones at U.S. forces at al Shadadi base in Syria. 

Dec. 24: The Islamic Resistance of Iraq fired missiles at U.S. forces at al Malikiyah base in Syria.

Dec. 24: The Islamic Resistance of Iraq fired missiles at U.S. forces at Kharab al Jir base in Syria.

Dec. 25: The Islamic Resistance of Iraq launched drones at U.S. forces at al Harir base in northern Iraq.

Dec. 26: The Islamic Resistance of Iraq fired missiles at U.S. forces at al Shadadi base in Syria.  

Dec. 28: The Islamic Resistance of Iraq launched missiles at U.S. forces at the Conoco oil field base in Syria. 

Dec. 31: The Islamic Resistance of Iraq fired a drone at U.S. forces at a base near Erbil Airport in northern Iraq. U.S. air defense systems shot down the drone.

Dec. 31: The Islamic Resistance of Iraq fired drones at U.S. forces at al Asad base in Iraq.   

January 2024

Jan. 10: The Islamic Resistance of Iraq launched missiles at the U.S. base near the Conoco oil field in Syria. 

Jan. 14: The Islamic Resistance of Iraq launched missiles at U.S. forces in Kharab al-Jir in Syria.

Jan. 14: The Islamic Resistance of Iraq fired missiles at U.S. forces in Conoco oil field in Syria.

Jan. 14: The Islamic Resistance of Iraq launched drones at U.S. forces at a base near Erbil Airport in Iraq.

Jan. 16: The Iranian Revolutionary Guard fired missiles at an alleged Mossad safehouse near the U.S. consulate in Erbil, Iraq.

Jan. 18: The Islamic Resistance of Iraq fired a drone at U.S. forces at a base near Erbil Airport in northern Iraq.

Jan. 18: The Islamic Resistance of Iraq claimed to have fired on a U.S. drone near Balad airbase north of Baghdad.

Jan. 20: The Islamic Resistance of Iraq fired 15 rockets at U.S. forces on al Asad airbase, Iraq. U.S. air defense systems shot down 13 of the rockets, and two rockets fell inside the base.

Jan. 21: The Islamic Resistance of Iraq fired drones at the U.S. base at al Omar oil field in eastern Syria.

Jan. 21: The Islamic Resistance of Iraq fired drones on the U.S. base at al Shaddadi oil field  in Syria.

Jan. 22: The Islamic Resistance of Iraq twice launched missiles at the U.S. base at Conoco oil field in eastern Syria.

Jan. 23: The Islamic Resistance of Iraq twice fired drones at U.S. forces at al Asad air base in Iraq.

Jan. 24: The Islamic Resistance of Iraq launched drones at the U.S. base at Conoco oil field in eastern Syria.

Jan. 24:  The Islamic Resistance of Iraq fired drones and rockets at U.S. forces at al Asad air base in Iraq. 

Jan. 24:  The Islamic Resistance of Iraq fired drones and rockets at the U.S. base near Erbil Airport in northern Iraq .

Jan. 26: The Islamic Resistance of Iraq fired drones at U.S forces at al Asad air base in Iraq.

Jan. 27: The Islamic Resistance of Iraq launched drones on U.S. forces at al Omar oil field in Syria.

Jan. 27: The Islamic Resistance of Iraq twice fired drones and drones on U.S. forces at Conoco oil field in Syria.

Jan. 28: The Islamic Resistance of Iraq fired missiles at the US base in al Shadadi in Syria.

Jan. 28: The Islamic Resistance of Iraq launched drones on U.S. forces at al Shadadi base in Syria.

Jan. 28: The Islamic Resistance of Iraq launched a drone attack on the U.S forces at al Tanf garrison in Syria.

Jan. 28: The Islamic Resistance of Iraq claimed responsibility for a drone attack on U.S forces at a base near Erbil Airport, Iraq.

Jan. 28: The Islamic Resistance of Iraq launched a drone on U.S forces at Tower 22 base in northeast Jordan. The attack killed three U.S. soldiers and injured 34 others.

February 2024

Feb. 3: Al Nujaba Movement, part of the Islamic Resistance in Iraq, hit U.S. forces with drones at Kharab al Jir base, Syria.

Feb. 3: Al Nujaba Movement, part of the Islamic Resistance in Iraq attacked U.S. forces with drones at al Omar oil field, Syria.

Feb. 3: Al Nujaba Movement, part of the Islamic Resistance in Iraq claimed that they targeted U.S. forces with drones at al Harir base in Erbil, northern Iraq. However, reports from three security sources confirmed that U.S. forces at al Harir base had not detected any attack attempts on February 3.

Feb. 8: The Islamic Resistance in Iraq launched multiple kamikaze drone attacks on the U.S. base at al Omar oil field, Syria. No casualties were reported.

Feb. 9: The Islamic Resistance in Iraq targeted U.S. forces with six drones at Conoco oil field, Syria.

April 2024

April 1: The Islamic Resistance in Iraq claimed to have launched drones at al Tanf Garrison in Syria. U.S. forces downed one drone in the area but concluded that the base was not the intended target. 

 

U.S. Airstrikes in Iraq and Syria

2023

Oct. 26: U.S. F-16 fighter jets conducted self-defense strikes on weapons storage facilities used by local militias linked to Iran’s Revolutionary Guards in Abu Kamal, Syria. The Pentagon did not identify the militia group.

Oct. 27: Two U.S. F-16 fighter jets and one F-15E carried out airstrikes on arms storage facilities linked to Iranian-backed militias in Al Mayadin in eastern Syria. The Pentagon did not identify the militia.

Nov. 8: Two U.S. F-15 fighter jets hit a weapons storage facility used by Iranian-backed militias and Iran’s Revolutionary Guard in Maysulun, Syria. The Pentagon did not specify which militia. The strike triggered secondary explosions.

Nov. 12: An F-15 fighter jet struck facilities used by Iran’s Revolutionary Guard and Iran-backed militias for training and as a command headquarters near Abu Kamal and Mayadin in Syria. Seven militants were reportedly killed.  “The President has no higher priority than the safety of U.S. personnel, and he directed today's action to make clear that the United States will defend itself, its personnel, and its interests,” said Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin. The Pentagon did not specify the militia group.

Nov. 21: An AC-130 gunship hit an operations center and command-and-control node used by Kataib Hezbollah near al Anbar and Jurf al Saqr in Iraq. It killed eight militants. The strike responded to a ballistic missile attack by the Islamic Resistance of Iraq on al Asad air base that injured U.S. and allied forces deployed in Iraq as part of Operation Inherent Resolve against ISIS.

Nov. 22: U.S. fighter jets struck two sites, an operation center and command-and-control node both used by Kataib Hezbollah, near the border of al Anbar province and the town of Jurf al Sakhar, Babil province

Dec. 3: U.S. forces used an armed drone to take out five militants in Iraq’s Popular Mobilization Forces preparing a drone attack in Kirkuk, Iraq.

Dec. 25: The United States conducted airstrikes on three facilities used by Kataib Hezbollah and other Iranian-backed groups in Iraq. The strikes targeted headquarters, storage, and training locations near al Qaim and Jurf al Sakhar.

2024

Jan. 23: At President Biden's direction, the U.S. military conducted “necessary and proportionate strikes on three facilities used by Kataib Hezbollah and other pro-Iranian militias near al-Qaim and Jurf al-Sakhar in Iraq in retaliation for attacks on U.S.-led coalition forces deployed to contain the remnants of ISIS.

Feb. 2: U.S. forces conducted airstrikes on over 85 targets in seven facilities – four in Syria and three in Iraq. The strikes hit command centers, intelligence centers, weapons storage, and logistics facilities used by Iran-backed militias and IRGC forces.

Feb. 7: The United States launched a drone strike in Baghdad that killed a Kataib Hezbollah commander responsible for planning and participating in attacks on Americans, the Pentagon said. Local sources reported that two commanders, Abu Baqir al Saadi and Haj Arkan Aliawi, were killed. A missile hit their vehicle on a busy street in the Mashtal neighborhood. 

 

Katherine Wells, a research assistant at the Woodrow Wilson Center, contributed to this report. 

Some of the information in this article was originally published on February 1, 2024.