Although the United States wanted to prevent a disastrous regional escalation in the midst of Israel’s fight with Hamas, it sent a strong message to Iran by striking pro-Tehran paramilitary groups in Syria that had targeted American troops.
Washington wanted to make it clear that recent drone and rocket assaults that left 21 US soldiers with minor injuries in Iraq and Syria would not go unpunished, so on Thursday night US time, they struck an ammo and storage area.
However, the move comes with a high degree of danger as tensions rise as Israel ploughs into Gaza in response to terror attacks on Israeli citizens carried out by Hamas on October 7. Concerns have been raised that this battle could escalate into a regional war involving Iran, Lebanon, and other proxy forces.
An already tense region may be further unsettled by President Joe Biden’s show of force. However, in Arab countries where public anger is rising over the killings of Palestinian civilians in Israeli bombings in Gaza, it may be difficult to draw clear boundaries between the strikes and the confrontation between Israel and Hamas, despite the fact that the United States is emphasising that they have nothing to do with the confrontation.
Defence Secretary Lloyd Austin said in a statement that the United States had taken “narrowly tailored in self-defense” measures against two installations in eastern Syria that were related to Iranian-backed forces. The IRGC and associated groups of Iran, according to the statement, have used the facilities.
Iran is trying to cover its tracks and claim it had nothing to do with the strikes on our personnel. Austin firmly stated, “We will not allow it.
A political wing of Biden’s camp
There is political pressure on Biden at home for him to speak out against Iran’s proxies. After American soldiers were hurt in an attack, there really wasn’t any other choice than to reply.
Biden’s domestic detractors have long accused him of being soft on Iran, and this small step is unlikely to change their minds. After the administration liberated five captives held by Iran last month in exchange for the release of $6 billion in frozen Iranian funds, the level of outrage rose sharply. The administration has stated that these monies may only be used to purchase humanitarian supplies in response to the recent attack on Israel by Hamas; yet, this has not stopped Republican criticisms on Vice President Biden.
The already frightening rhetorical tensions between the US and Iran are likely to escalate as a result of the US airstrikes.
For instance, Iranian Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian has warned the United States that it will “not be spared from this fire” if Israel continues its military assault against Hamas in Gaza in response to the group’s terror operations.
At a news conference with Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese the day before the US strikes, Vice President Joe Biden warned Iran about the actions of its militia.
And on Tuesday, Secretary of State Antony Blinken cautioned that the United States would respond fast and decisively to strikes by Iran or its proxies in the region, despite the fact that it does not wish conflict with Iran.
Construction of US forces in the Middle East begins
Washington has been worried that US interests in the region could be imperilled ever since Israel began responding to the Hamas strikes.
The United States has intelligence indicating Iranian-backed militia groups intend to increase attacks against American personnel in the Middle East, according to multiple US sources who spoke with HEADLINESFOREVER. Iran is hoping to capitalise on the anger in the region due to the United States’ backing for Israel.
As a result of the threat to its partner Israel, the United States, which had been trying to withdraw its military forces from the Middle East, was compelled to launch airstrikes. After a series of attacks on coalition facilities left almost two dozen personnel with minor injuries, the Pentagon stated earlier in the day that about 900 troops have been deployed or are deploying to the Middle East.
As a deterrent to the enemies of the United States and Israel in the eastern Mediterranean, Biden had already ordered the deployment of two aircraft carrier groups to the region.
Brigadier General Pat Ryder, a spokesman for the United States Department of Defence, said on Thursday that US and coalition forces were assaulted “at least 12 separate times in Iraq, four separate times in Syria, by a mix of one-way attack drones and rockets.”
HEADLINESFOREVER reports that between October 17 and 18, at least 21 US service members were injured, most of them quite slightly. Fifteen at al-Asad Air Base in Iraq and four at al-Tanf Garrison in Syria have been diagnosed with traumatic brain damage, Ryder said.