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Timeline of attacks on US forces as threats increase in Middle East

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As tensions heighten in the Middle East, U.S. forces in the region are facing hostile threats and an array of attacks as the Biden administration increases its support for Israel. 

A U.S. naval warship shot down 15 drones and four cruise missiles Thursday during a nine-hour span near the Yemeni coast, a larger barrage than was previously thought.

The USS Carney, a guided missile destroyer, was heading south through the Suez Canal in Egypt on Wednesday and was in the northern Red Sea when incidents occurred on Thursday.

Since the war between Israel and Hamas began on Oct. 7, there have been a handful of attacks on U.S. positions in the Middle East. The Pentagon has moved warships and aircraft to the region to be ready to provide Israel with assistance.

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In addition, 2,000 U.S. troops were put on heightened alert and are ready to be deployed if needed. The troops are likely Army and Air Force personnel and would be able to respond quickly, particularly to provide intelligence and surveillance, transportation and medical assistance.

The aggression against American military personnel coincides with protests and riots near U.S. embassies in the Middle East. Below is a rundown of attacks on U.S. forces in recent days. 

Wednesday, Oct. 18

In Iraq, the U.S. intercepted three one-way attack drones, targeting two different military bases, U.S. Central Command confirmed. (Ayman Henna/AFP via Getty Images/File)

U.S. forces intercepted two one-way attack drones targeting Iraq’s al-Asad air base just west of Baghdad where American troops are located. One drone was destroyed, and the other was damaged, U.S. Central Command said. 

Coalition forces sustained minor injuries and there was some damage to the base. 

In another part of Iraq, U.S. forces at the al-Harir air base destroyed a drone. No injuries were reported. 

“Our missiles, drones, and special forces are ready to direct qualitative strikes at the American enemy in its bases and disrupt its interests if it intervenes in this battle,” Ahmad “Abu Hussein” al-Hamidawi, head of the Iraqi Kataib Hezbollah militia, said in a statement. 

Thursday, Oct. 19

The USS Carney in the Mediterranean Sea

The USS Carney, a Navy destroyer, took out three missiles Thursday that had been fired from Yemen and were heading north, according to U.S. officials, who later said the ship shot down a total of 15 drones and four cruise missiles during a nine-hour span. (Mass Communication Spc. 1st Class Ryan U. Kledzik/U.S. Naval Forces Europe-Africa via AP/File)

The USS Carney was in the Northern Red Sea when it shot down the four cruise missiles and 15 drones launched by Iran-backed Houthi rebels in Yemen. No injuries or damage were reported. 

The Defense Department initially said the warship shot down three land attack cruise missiles and “several” drones before the full scale of the attack was known. 

A defense official said the cruise missiles and drones were shot down with the SM-2 surface-to-air missiles and that the rockets were clearly headed for Israel. A U.S. official said they don’t believe the missiles — which were shot down over the water — were aimed at the U.S. warship.

Syria

The al-Tanf military outpost in southern Syria

The al-Tanf military outpost in southern Syria. Two U.S. officials told The Associated Press that the al-Tanf garrison, where U.S. troops have maintained a presence to train forces as part of a broad campaign against the Islamic State group, was attacked by drones on Thursday. (AP Photo/Lolita Baldor/File)

On the same day, the Al Tanf Garrison military base in southern Syria where American troops are present was targeted by two drones. U.S. and coalition forces engaged and destroyed one drone while the other impacted the base. 

U.S. troops have maintained a presence at the base for a number of years to train Syrian allies and monitor Islamic State militant activity.

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Friday, Oct. 20

Two rockets were fired toward the Baghdad Diplomatic Support Center in Iraq, near the Baghdad International Airport around 2:50 a.m. 

One rocket was intercepted by a counter-rocket system and the other impacted an empty storage facility. No casualties were reported. 

Fox News’ Liz Friden, Greg Wehner and The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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