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U.S. makes retaliatory attacks against Iran-backed militias in Syria and Iraq borders

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by Jaafar Siddiqui

The U.S. attack on the Iran backed militia’s facilities at two locations in Syria and one in Iraq appears to be a message to Tehran by the newly elected American administration. It could be established that the American strike was a response to several targeted attacks against the US interests in Iraq in the past few months.

Reuters news agency in an interview with two US officials on the condition of anonymity found that since April, Iran backed militias have carried out at least five drone attacks against the US facilities in Iraq used by the US coalition personals.  

The US-Iran conflict initially escalated in 1979 followed by the seizure of the U.S. Embassy in Tehran, U.S imposed sanctions against Iran in response to the Iranian nuclear program and Iran’s support for Hezbollah, Hamas, and Shi’ite militias in Iraq and later Houthi rebels in the Yemen civil war.

“At President Biden’s direction, U.S. military forces earlier this evening conducted defensive precision airstrikes against facilities used by Iran-backed militia groups in the Iraq-Syria border region,” said Pentagon Press Secretary John Kirby.

“President Biden has been clear that he will act to protect U.S. personnel. Given the ongoing series of attacks by Iran-backed groups targeting U.S. interests in Iraq, the President directed further military action to disrupt and deter such attacks”, added Kirby.

Iran condemned the attack and called out USA for ‘disrupting security’ in the region. “Certainly, what the United States is doing is disrupting security in the region, and one of the victims of this disruption will be the United States”, said Saeed Khatibzadeh, Iranian foreign Ministry spokesman.

Iraq condemned the attack calling it as a “breach of sovereignty”, it was not a very intense criticism as Iraq works very closely with the USA military to fight the ISIL (ISIS). “We are in Iraq at the invitation of the Government of Iraq for the sole purpose of assisting the Iraqi Security Forces in their efforts to defeat ISIS”, said Press Secretary John Kirby.

The future of U.S-Iran relationship remains blurry and the threat of retaliation by Iran increases in the region. As the new Biden administration expresses their take on Iran and the region through the airstrikes and the attack in February carried out on the land of eastern Syria. Iran responded, “The US still continues the wrong path in the region. What we see today is not only the sanctions but also following the wrong policies of the previous administration with actions they carry out in the region”, said Khatibzadeh, Iran’s foreign ministry spokesman.

Jaafar Siddiqui earned Bachelors in Journalism from the University of Hertfordshire — United Kingdom. He writes for The Milli Chronicle on Business, Politics, and Culture.

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