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US retaliatory airstrikes on targets in Iraq and Syria will not be the last | US national security | The Guardian

  

Category:  News & Politics

Via:  kavika  •  4 weeks ago  •  20 comments

By:   the Guardian

US retaliatory airstrikes on targets in Iraq and Syria will not be the last | US national security | The Guardian
The carefully planned raids were the largest yet against Iran's proxies and are likely to continue until threats to US personnel are neutralised

S E E D E D   C O N T E N T


Julian Borger World affairs editor

The carefully planned raids were the largest yet against Iran's proxies and are likely to continue until threats to US personnel are neutralised

US retaliation, when it came, was broad and deep, and telegraphed five days in advance.

The White House, the Pentagon and state department had spent the best part of a week talking about the response to Sunday's drone attack on a US base in northern Jordan, which killed three Americans and wounded more than 30.

They warned that retaliation against the suspects, primary among those the Iran-backed Kataib Hezbollah militia, would be "multi-tiered" and continue over many days, but when the opening salvo came in the early hours of Saturday Middle Eastern time, it still caused some surprise in its range and scale.

According to US Central Command, 85 targets were hit in 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 US territory in a demonstration of the reach of the US air force.

"Tonight's strikes in western Iraq eastern Syria are FAR bigger than any action undertaken before against Iran's proxies - huge secondary explosions on both sides of the border suggest big rocket/missile depots have been hit," Charles Lister, senior fellow of the Middle East Institute, said on the social media platform X.

Joe Biden said the targets were facilities used by Iran's Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) and "affiliated militia", and he made clear that it was just the beginning. The full response for the attack on the Tower 22 base would "continue at times and places of our choosing".

The limits of the response were as clear as its scale. As expected, no targets were hit on Iranian territory, and senior administration officials made clear Iran was out of bounds for any future sorties as well.

"The goal here is to get these attacks to stop. We're not looking for a war with Iran," John Kirby, the national security spokesperson, said.

Meanwhile, the five intervening days since the Tower 22 attack had reportedly given time for the withdrawal of key IRGC officers. The Pentagon said that the timing of the strikes was determined by the weather. The planners had waited for the skies to clear to be absolutely certain of their targets so that civilian casualties would be minimised.

As for the question of whether the delay had allowed the IRGC to pull its people out of danger, Lt Gen Sims, the director of operations of the Joint Staff, pointed out that the militias attacking US targets would have scattered as soon as their weapons had been fired, so the number of days' pause did not make much difference. The impact of the overnight strikes, Gen Sims said, was to significantly degrade the IRGC arms stockpiles.

Overall, the US response was calibrated to minimise the risk of a direct US-Iran conflict, while maximising the destruction of weaponry Iran has stockpiled in Syria and Iraq.

It is notable that three of the targeted facilities were in Iraq. There had been some speculation that the US planners might avoid that, as Baghdad's permission for a continued US troop presence involved in pursuing Islamic State is under review after a prior US strike on Iraqi soil.

The White House said that the US informed Baghdad ahead of the strikes; nonetheless an Iraqi army spokesperson said they constituted "an assault on Iraq's sovereignty and an insult to the government".

While risking a war with Iran was clearly a red line in the planning of this response, the risk of further complicating the relationship with Baghdad was clearly not a barrier. It is the US assessment that the Iraqi government is ultimately reliant on American soldiers to keep Islamic State at bay.

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Kavika
Professor Principal
1  seeder  Kavika     4 weeks ago

There will be more layerd attacks along with cyber attacks by the US.

 
 
 
Tacos!
Professor Guide
2  Tacos!    4 weeks ago

I’m glad we’re responding, but I don’t think Iran cares. The whole point of their proxies is that they suffer any retaliation, while Iranian leadership sleeps comfortably. Iran will take that deal every day.

There must be actual Iranian targets, assets, or personnel that could be hit outside of Iran proper. That kind of retaliation might actually bother them a little.

When we make it clear that Iran is safe, they are comfortable conducting business as usual.

 
 
 
Kavika
Professor Principal
2.1  seeder  Kavika   replied to  Tacos! @2    4 weeks ago

This is a three fold answer, some of the strikes hit the Islamic Revolutionary Guard which is part of Iran proper and I heard that strikes also hit the Quds Force another part of Iran and their army.

If we keep destroying munitions storage, command centers, and radar centers soon the proxies will have little to fight with and will be on Iran's doorstep begging for more supplies. That will put Iran in a hot spot, either support their proxies and see them destroyed or walk away from them and create an internal blowback in Iran.

Also, this is designed not to have a full-on confrontation/war with Iran which could set the ME ablaze. It's a tightrope that we are walking and one designed to create maxium pain on both Iran and their proxies.

 
 
 
devangelical
Professor Principal
2.1.1  devangelical  replied to  Kavika @2.1    3 weeks ago

it's a much better diplomatic approach than the nuke iran drum beating morons on the right...

 
 
 
Kavika
Professor Principal
2.1.2  seeder  Kavika   replied to  devangelical @2.1.1    3 weeks ago

A measured approach with multiple attacks over time and cyber attacks added in.It like a boxing match with two good opponents one like GGG will break you down round after round til there is nothing left and they comes the finish.

 
 
 
devangelical
Professor Principal
2.1.3  devangelical  replied to  Kavika @2.1.2    3 weeks ago

according to an interview I watched yesterday, there's some hard feelings between iran and it's proxies. it seems there are concerns that iran's field management teams in targeted areas knew to evacuate well before the incoming rounds arrived.

 
 
 
Kavika
Professor Principal
2.1.4  seeder  Kavika   replied to  devangelical @2.1.3    3 weeks ago

That is not surprising.

 
 
 
devangelical
Professor Principal
2.1.5  devangelical  replied to  Kavika @2.1.4    3 weeks ago

who doesn't like terrorists in bite sized pieces...

 
 
 
Ronin2
Professor Quiet
3  Ronin2    4 weeks ago

The sheer amount of hypocrisy and stupidity from the Brandon administration burns.

Remember when Democrats/leftists screamed bloody murder for Trump taking out the Iranian coordinator Qassam Soleimani that planned attacks on US troops in Iraq and Syria? The over the top panic that Trump was trying to start a war in the ME? The hyperventilating about the Iranian response that resulted in no US casualties but 100 injured?

Brandon just took out members of the Iranian Red Guard. Which has 3 major problems.

  1. Iran and their militias are in Iraq and Syria legally. The US is in Syria illegally, and has violated Syrian air space countless times. Syria has told us to get out and stay out countless times. Our relationship with the Shai dominant Iraqi government loyal to Iran is shaky at the best of times. Outside of protecting British and French oil interests WTF are we still doing in Iraq? Maybe we will get lucky and Iraq will finally kick us out for good.
  2. The US admitted that the base in Jordan thought the drone was one of theirs returning from either Iraq or Syria. WTF are we doing in Jordan in the first place; and second WTF are we doing launching drones into Iraq and Syria from Jordan? Were any of them conducting strikes on Houthi, Hezbollah, or Iranian militias? If so it removes the whole poor picked on US unprovoked attack argument.
  3. Think Iran is going to let it pass that there has been a direct strike on their people? We supposedly aren't at war with Iran- Brandon has done everything in his power to cater to them- including the dropping of sanctions; releasing billions in frozen assets; and doing a very uneven prisoner swap. What is he going to do Iran retaliates directly on US troops in Iraq and Syria?

Then there is the unspoken tiger in the room. It has been well documented that Syrians, Palestinians, and Iranians have crossed into our country across the southern border- some on the terror watch list. If Iran does have sleeper cells in the US- think they won't hesitate to use them if Brandon decides to escalate the conflict? They don't have to hit glitzy civilian targets; if they took our rail system it would cripple the US. There are thousands of miles of track that isn't monitored constantly. It isn't hard to tell which tracks have major traffic on them consistently. A few well placed IEDs is all it would take. If they wanted to go further hit the US shipping ports. One or two IED laced supposedly empty containers would all it would take. 

Brandon presented 3/4 of our navy for target practice between Israel and the Red Sea. He has used them to attack Hezbollah, Houthi, and Iranian militia targets (didn't realize we were at war with Hezbollah- but I guess Brandon thought them firing missiles at us was better than them firing at Israel.) His tepid response to them being attacked is what caused this. 

Now his back is to the wall; and the saber rattlers on both sides are calling for expanding the conflict. Too bad we don't have the resources to fight it with two major proxy wars going on in Ukraine and Israel. 

I am sure China is watching with keen interest just waiting for Brandon to overextend US resources.

 
 
 
MrFrost
Professor Expert
3.1  MrFrost  replied to  Ronin2 @3    3 weeks ago
stupidity from the Brandon administration burns.

Congrats, that's where I stopped reading your post. 

 
 
 
Texan1211
Professor Principal
3.1.1  Texan1211  replied to  MrFrost @3.1    3 weeks ago

[deleted]

 
 
 
devangelical
Professor Principal
3.1.2  devangelical  replied to  MrFrost @3.1    3 weeks ago

yeah, too bad biden isn't smarter than all our generals like the last guy that disclosed to our enemies classified information and telegraphed our pending military activity to them beforehand ... /s

 
 
 
Texan1211
Professor Principal
3.1.3  Texan1211  replied to  devangelical @3.1.2    3 weeks ago

Too bad Biden isn't smarter than my coffee maker.

 
 
 
Tessylo
Professor Principal
3.1.4  Tessylo  replied to  devangelical @3.1.2    3 weeks ago

Ain't it something?  We have those who support a traitor and want them to be 'president' again.

 
 
 
Texan1211
Professor Principal
3.1.5  Texan1211  replied to  Tessylo @3.1.4    3 weeks ago

Yep, some will vote for one of the traitors, for sure!

 
 
 
Right Down the Center
Junior Guide
3.1.6  Right Down the Center  replied to  Tessylo @3.1.4    3 weeks ago
We have those who support a traitor and want them to be 'president' again.

I know.  It seems they must hate the United States and it's people as much as Biden does.

 
 
 
Hallux
Masters Principal
3.2  Hallux  replied to  Ronin2 @3    3 weeks ago
Think Iran is going to let it pass that there has been a direct strike on their people?

We shall see, Iran did not pack up after Solemani was assassinated on Iraq territory.

 
 
 
Kavika
Professor Principal
3.2.1  seeder  Kavika   replied to  Hallux @3.2    3 weeks ago

They did not and retaliated with a massive ballistic missile attack on two US bases that injured hundreds.

 
 
 
Split Personality
Professor Guide
3.3  Split Personality  replied to  Ronin2 @3    3 weeks ago
Outside of protecting British and French oil interests WTF are we still doing in Iraq? Maybe we will get lucky and Iraq will finally kick us out for good.

We were invited by the current government.

 WTF are we doing in Jordan in the first place.

Tower 22 has been in place since 2015, again with Jordan's permission,

Think Iran is going to let it pass that there has been a direct strike on their people? 

We shoot their little gun boats out of the water every year. They are more concerned with what happens on their own soil

and their own citizens revolting. Those people want cheap jeans and unfettered access to the internet. Period.

3/4 of our navy for target practice between Israel and the Red Sea

Nonsense.

Too bad we don't have the resources to fight it with two major proxy wars going on in Ukraine and Israel.

That has never stopped us before. 

I am sure China is watching with keen interest 

As is every other friend and foe.

 
 
 
Kavika
Professor Principal
4  seeder  Kavika     3 weeks ago

Last night the US launched 35 missile attacks against the Houties in Yemen, a day after 85 strikes in Syria and Iraw.

 
 

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