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Middle East on Edge as US Launches ‘Retaliatory Strikes’ on ‘Iranian Proxies’ in Syria and Iraq

Today Washington has treated the U.S. media with another episode of “shock and awe” as it launches a series of attacks which it claims are targeting alleged “pro-Iranian groups” located in Syria and Iraq. 

While this display of military prowess may play well to an American domestic audience, the reality is that the White House has further antagonized multiple sovereign states and non state actors in the region who would like to see an accelerated exit by the US from a beleaguered Middle East.

The United States is already on extremely weak footing in both Syria and Iraq, and locals have made it very clear their occupation presence is unwelcome – a key point which most in Washington have chosen to ignore.

Far from deterring regional opposition to the occupation activities of the US and Israel, this move by Biden is only going to speed-up that process of pushing the US assets out of their remaining exposed positions…


RT International reports…

US forces have commenced airstrikes targeting Iranian-backed militants in Syria and Iraq in response to a series of assaults on American military bases in the region, including a drone attack that killed three American soldiers and wounded more than 40 others.

Washington’s latest strikes come nearly a week after Sunday’s deadly attack on a secretive US base in Jordan, near the Syrian and Iraqi borders, called Tower 22. The retaliatory bombings mark “the start of what will likely be a series of larger-scale US strikes on Iranian-backed militias who have carried out attacks on US troops in the Middle East,” CNN reported on Friday, citing two unidentified American officials.


IMAGE:  A satellite photo from Planet Labs PBC shows a military base known as Tower 22 in northeastern Jordan, January 29, 2024 ©  Planet Labs PBC via AP

An unidentified Pentagon official told the New York Times that Friday’s airstrikes targeted a half dozen sites in Iraq and Syria, “marking a sharp escalation of the war in the Middle East that the Biden administration has for four months sought to avoid.”

The attack on Tower 22 was “planned, resourced and facilitated” by the Islamic Resistance in Iraq, White House National Security Council spokesman John Kirby said on Wednesday. The group consists of multiple militias, including Kataib Hezbollah, which has launched multiple rocket and drone strikes against US forces in the region since the Israel-Hamas war began in October.

Kirby suggested that the US response would be carried out over multiple days. It “won’t just be a one-off,” he said. “As I said, the first thing you see will not be the last thing.” He added that Biden is still trying to avoid a broader war with Iran.

Media reports in recent days raised concern that Biden was telegraphing his plans and giving the militias too much time to take preparatory steps, such as vacating obvious targets. Pentagon chief Lloyd Austin tried to deflect those worries on Friday, denying that the administration was giving Iran too much warning. He said the US response will be “multi-tiered” and insisted that neither he nor Biden would tolerate attacks on American troops.

Biden has blamed Iran for supplying the weapons that Islamic militants have used in attacking US forces in the Middle East more than 150 times since the Israel-Hamas war started. He has faced political pressure to respond aggressively, including calls by Republican lawmakers to launch devastating strikes inside Iran.

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