Senior U.S. officials: Attack near Syria likely ‘warning shot’ from Iran

Three senior U.S. officials tell CNN that a recent attack on a base in Syria is likely a “warning shot” issued by the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps to the U.S. that it will retaliate…

Senior U.S. officials: Attack near Syria likely 'warning shot' from Iran

Three senior U.S. officials tell CNN that a recent attack on a base in Syria is likely a “warning shot” issued by the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps to the U.S. that it will retaliate over the USS Ross and USS Porter strike on Iranian vessels that U.S. officials say were carrying arms destined for Iranian-backed Houthi rebels in Yemen.

The officials tell CNN that it’s unlikely that the attack on the base near Deir Ezzor was caused by the U.S. sailors. According to one of the senior officials, the USS Ross and USS Porter had found what looked like a weapons warehouse and ordered the Iranians to leave. The Iranians refused, and the United States shot a drone, a small boat and a tank. The officials say there were no casualties on either side.

The officials did not provide details on whether any Marines or service members on the ships were wounded, but the officials say the attack could have been a pre-emptive strike to stop an Iranian attack.

Sen. Lindsey Graham said that while it’s uncertain if Iran fired any missiles into the United States, the attack “adds to my sense that they’re trying to send a message that they’re still a threat to the U.S.”

Graham said it was difficult to speculate what the Iranians were after, but “it’s more than a weapon depot. It’s also there to show you that the Iranians are willing to stand up to our Navy and we ought to stand up to them.”

But on the issue of Iran, the Iranian government did not respond directly to CNN’s request for comment.

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