Feb 4, 2024, 8:33 AM

US-style deterrence, de-escalation!

US-style deterrence, de-escalation!

TEHRAN, Feb. 04 (MNA) –  The United States has either waged wars or fanned the flames of conflicts in West Asia and beyond over the past decades. 

In the past four months, the US military and political support has paved the path for Israel to prolong its brutal war on the Gaza Strip amid growing concerns that the conflict could spill over into the entire region.  

Since Israel launched its onslaught on the besieged Palestinian territory on October 7, the US has also targeted positions of regional resistance groups who have carried out attacks against American forces in protest to Washington’s support for Tel Aviv’s massacre of Palestinian people. 

On Friday night, the US military launched an air assault on dozens of sites in Iraq and Syria.

It said the massive barrage of strikes hit more than 85 targets at seven locations of regional resistance groups.

According to Lieutenant General Douglas Sims, director of the Joint Staff, the strikes took place over about 30 minutes, and three of the sites struck were in Iraq and four were in Syria.

It was in response to a deadly drone strike on a US military outpost in Jordan that killed three service members and injured dozens of others a week ago. 

Following the US attacks, the Iraqi resistance targeted the Tanf military base in Syria, which is home to US forces, with missiles. It also hit the Ain al-Assad base with a drone in western Iraq which also houses American forces.

Iraq summons US envoy

The spokesperson of Iraq’s Armed Forces warned that the US strikes could destabilize the region.

“These strikes are considered a violation of Iraqi sovereignty and undermine the efforts of the Iraqi government, posing a threat that could drag Iraq and the region into undesirable consequences, the outcomes will be dire for the security and stability in Iraq and the region,” Yahya Rasool said in a statement. 

Iraq’s Foreign Ministry also summoned the US charge d’affaires to Baghdad. David Burger was handed a note of protest.

The Iraqi government also condemned the US attacks.  

Government spokesperson Basim Alwadi said 16 people were killed and more than two dozen others were injured in “a new aggression on the sovereignty of Iraq”.

Alwadi rejected “misleading” claims that the US has coordinated attacks with the Iraqi government. 

The official said the strikes placed Iraq “on the brink of the abyss” and that the presence of the international coalition in Iraq threatens the Arab nation’s security and stability.

Syria: Civilians killed in US assault 

The Syrian Defense Ministry also said the US attacks claimed the lives of civilians. 

“[The United States] launched a blatant air aggression against a number of sites and towns in the eastern region of Syria, and near the Syrian-Iraqi border, which led to the martyrdom of a number of civilians and soldiers, the injury of others, and the infliction of significant damage to public and private property,” the ministry said. 

The Syrian military also said, “The occupation of parts of Syrian territory by US forces cannot continue”.  It affirmed the army’s “determination to liberate all Syrian territory from terrorism and occupation”.

In a statement, the Syrian Foreign Ministry also warned that the US strikes in Iraq and Syria "fuel the conflict in the Middle East (West Asia) in a very dangerous way."
The ministry added, "[Syria] condemns this blatant American violation [and] it categorically rejects all the pretexts and lies promoted by the American administration to justify this attack." 

CAIR slams strikes 

The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) lashed out at the White House over the Strikes in Syria and Iraq. 

“Instead of waging war across the Middle East (West Asia), the Biden administration should demand an end to the far-right Israeli government’s ethnic cleansing and genocide in Gaza,” CAIR national executive director said. 

He accused Washington of ignoring Israel’s “escalating human rights abuses”. The CAIR official noted that the US has maintained troops in Syria, Iraq and other places “where they are not welcome”, Nihad  Awad said. 

“These latest strikes in Iraq and Syria are just further evidence of the total failure of the president’s Middle East (West Asia) policy. President Biden should change course to protect both American soldiers and people of the region from more violence … Justice and freedom for the Palestinian people – not more bombs – is what can build a more peaceful future for the region,” Awad added. 

EU warns of escalation 

In an implicit reference to the US strikes, the European Union foreign policy chief urged all parties to avoid further “escalation” in West Asia. 

Speaking at a meeting of EU foreign ministers in Brussels, Josep Borrell said, "Everybody should try to avoid that the situation becomes explosive." 

Borrell repeated a warning that West Asia is "a boiler that can explode". 

Biden challenges 

Following the deadly attack on the US base in Jordan, the challenge for the Bident administration was to find a balance between escalation and what has been described as “deterrence”. 

On the one hand, the White House believed failing to act decisively would risk sending a message of weakness that could lead to more attacks on US bases. 

On the other hand, US government officials feared that acting too forcefully could further escalate the situation in the region. 

The US government said Friday’s attacks were just the beginning and more airstrikes are likely in the coming days or weeks against resistance groups suspected of targeting American forces in West Asia.

Washington has previously pounded positions inside Yemen in response to attacks by the Ansarullah movement against Israeli-linked ships in the Red Sea. 

Regional axis of resistance like the Islamic Resistance in Iraq which attacked the US military site in Jordan, have repeatedly stressed that their strikes against Americans are in response to Washington’s backing for Israel’s war on Gaza.

These groups along with the Ansarullah movement in Yemen have said that if Israel brings a halt to its Gaza war, the region will witness de-escalation.

Presently, the US must force Israel to stop its genocidal war on Gaza if it is interested in de-escalation.

The idea that the intensification of attacks on resistance groups will deter further strikes on American forces is just a fallacy. American attacks will further fuel anti-US sentiments which remain high due to Washington’s backing of Israel. 

Resistance groups have conducted nearly 170 attacks on American forces in West Asia since Israel began its deadly military campaign in Gaza. The attack in Jordan was different because it marked the first time US troops have been killed in West Asia since the start of the Gaza war. 

Besides, the US military presence in Iraq and Syria has caused insecurity and instability in West Asia.  Iraqi and Syrian officials have called for the withdrawal of American troops from their countries. 

If the lives of American soldiers matter to the US, it should distance itself from warmongering and miliary adventurism in the region. 

First Published by Tehran Times

News ID 211645


Your Comment

You are replying to: .
  • captcha