US military officials announced on Wednesday that the Pentagon had launched a missile strike on an Iraqi missile base in southern Syria, killing at least four Hezbollah fighters, but that the U.S. did not strike any sites that were suspected of being military sites.
The U.N. estimates there are about 20,000-25,000 Syrian-backed fighters and a third of them are believed to be on the ground in the area.
The US announced the strike on Wednesday morning, but there was no official confirmation from the White House.
The strike, carried out by the US Air Force, destroyed the base, which is located about 200 miles (320 kilometers) south of the Iraqi capital, Baghdad.
The base was used by Iraqi Hezbollah, the Iranian-backed Lebanese militant group, which has fought U.L.P. and Iraqi government forces in the country’s north since the 1980s.
The United States is supporting the Iraqi government with airstrikes and other support, but the Lebanese government has accused the U,L.L.’s of using the base for weapons production.
The Pentagon has not released any details about the target of the strike, but it was said to be a Hezbollah facility.
The Lebanese government said it has identified at least one U.R.M. missile site in the southern part of Syria and is preparing to take further action, according to the Associated Press news agency.
Hezbollah’s military wing, the Nusra Front, has fought alongside Syrian government forces for years in the north and in recent months has increased its attacks in the region.
The group has been targeted by U.U.S.-led coalition strikes and has also claimed responsibility for the deadly September 2014 attack on a military facility in northern Iraq that killed hundreds.
A year ago, Hezbollah said its fighters were preparing to launch an attack on Iraq’s capital, which would have killed tens of thousands of people, although there was little immediate evidence to support that claim.
Hezbollah also has been implicated in a string of bombings and other attacks on government targets in the past year, including one in August that killed two people in Baghdad and another in January that killed more than 100 people in a northern Iraqi city.