US forces carried out an airstrike in Deir Ez-Zor, which is located in the eastern parts of Syria. The area is also reportedly used by Iran’s paramilitary Revolutionary Guard. The US Central Command added that the orders came from President Joe Biden.

The announcement on Wednesday clarified that the airstrikes “took proportionate, deliberate action intended to limit the risk of escalation and minimize the risk of casualties”, news agency Associated Press reported.

The strikes have not been acknowledged by Syrian authorities so far. Tehran has also not made any relevant statements so far. The US military did not identify the targets, nor offer any casualty figures from the strikes.

“Today’s strikes were necessary to protect and defend US personnel,” Central Command spokesman Col. Joe Buccino said in a statement.

The colonel added the attack was in response to an August 15 attack targeting US forces. That attack saw drones allegedly launched by Iranian-backed militias target the al-Tanf Garrison used by American forces. US Central Command described the assault as causing “zero casualties and no damage” at the time.

Deir Ez-Zor is a strategic province that borders Iraq and contains oil fields. Iran-backed militia groups and Syrian forces control the area and have often been the target of Israeli warplanes in previous strikes.

American forces entered Syria in 2015, backing allied forces in their fight against the Islamic State group.