Monday, February 26, 2024

US strikes against targets in Iraq and Syria are not the last

The attack by the US in response to the one suffering on the territory of Jordan, when it happened on Friday, was wide and deep, and was telegraphed five days in advance.

The White House, Pentagon and State Department spent much of the week discussing the response to Sunday’s drone attack on a US base in northern Jordan, in which three Americans were killed and more than 30 wounded.

They warned that the “retaliation against the suspects,” including the Iranian-backed militia Kataib Hezbollah, would be “multi-level” and last for several days, but if the first occurred, in the early hours of on Saturday morning, Middle East Time, it raised eyebrows because of its scope and size.

According to US Central Command, 85 targets were hit at seven facilities, four in Syria and three in Iraq, with more than 125 precision munitions, using a mix of drones and long-range B1 bombers. flying from the territory of the US, in a demonstration of the achievements of the American air force.

“Tonight’s attacks in western Iraq and eastern Syria are larger than any previous action taken against Iranian proxies: large secondary explosions on both sides of the border suggest that large rocket depots and missiles,” said Charles Lister, senior fellow at the Middle East Institute, in X.

Joe Biden said the targets were facilities used by Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) and “affiliated militias,” and explained that this was just the beginning. The full response to the attack on the Tower 22 base “will continue at times and places of our choosing.”

The boundaries of the answer are as clear as its scale. As expected, no targets were hit on Iranian territory, and administration sources made it clear that Iran would not be off limits for any future incursions either.

“The goal is to stop these attacks. “We are not looking for a war with Iran,” said John Kirby, spokesman for Homeland Security.

On the other hand, the five days since the Tower 22 attack would have given key IRGC officials time to retreat. The Pentagon said the timing of the attacks was determined by weather conditions. The planners waited for the skies to clear to be more certain of their intentions.

Asked if the delay allowed the IRGC to get its men out of harm’s way, Lt. gen. Sims, director of operations for the Joint Chiefs of Staff, noted that militias attacking US targets would have dispersed as soon as they opened fire. their weapons. , so the number of days off made no difference. The effect of the night attacks, General Sims said, was to reduce the IRGC’s weapons arsenals.

In general, the American response, according to Washington, was calibrated to reduce the risk of direct conflict between the United States and Iran, while increasing the destruction of weapons stored by Iran in Syria and Iraq.

It is worth noting that three of the facilities attacked were in Iraq. There are speculations that the US military will prevent it, as Baghdad’s approval for the continued presence of US troops involved in the pursuit of the Islamic State is under review after an earlier US attack on Iraqi soil.

The White House claims that the United States informed Baghdad before the attacks; However, a spokesman for the Iraqi army said they constituted “an attack on Iraqi sovereignty and an insult to the government.”

Although risking war with Iran is a red line in planning this response, the risk of further complicating relations with Baghdad is clearly not an obstacle. The United States believes that the Iraqi government is finally relying on American soldiers to stop the Islamic State.

World Nation News Desk
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