- The US launched 'precision“ strikes against targets in Syria allegedly used by the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC), the Pentagon announced on Monday. The strikes were in response to 'continued attacks' on US bases in Iraq and Syria by Iranian-backed forces, US Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin said.1
- Austin added that the strikes in Syria's Deir ez-Zor governorate hit a training facility on the Iraqi border and a safe house near the city of Mayadeen. An anonymous US official told The Associated Press that one of the sites also included weapons storage.2
- Austin also said that US President Joe Biden had 'no higher priority than the safety of U.S. personnel.' He directed the attacks to demonstrate that the US 'will defend itself, its personnel, and its interests,' Austin added.3
- The possibility that more strikes would take place was left open. There have been at least 40 attacks against US and coalition troops in Iraq and Syria since Oct. 7 when Hamas launched its deadly surprise attack into southern Israel.4
- Around 56 US personnel have reportedly been injured in the attacks in Syria and Iraq, but all have returned to duty. Many of the Iranian-backed militant groups are operating under the umbrella of the Islamic Resistance in Iraq and began targeting US bases on Oct. 17.5
- The attacks were the third round of strikes in recent weeks targeting Iran-backed forces in Syria. Previously, US forces attacked a weapons storage facility in Syria on Wednesday and two Syrian sites on Oct. 26, resulting in no casualties, according to the Pentagon.6
- Establishment-critical narrative, as provided by Arab Center Washington DC. Despite the tragic casualties on both sides of the conflict, the US — looking to shore up its political standing with Israel — has unequivocally supported Tel Aviv while largely ignoring the horrors experienced by the Palestinians. This is a dangerous maneuver that has abandoned Washington's national interests in the rest of the region, leaving room for other actors to intervene. If the US wants to avoid a regional escalation, it must reel in Israel's military posture to prevent larger-scale conflicts.
- Pro-establishment narrative, as provided by Firstpost. While there's no clear evidence that Tehran was involved in Hamas's savage assault on Israel, recent attacks by Iranian-backed militias on US bases show that the Iranian regime is playing with fire. Meanwhile, other Iranian proxies like Hezbollah threaten to open a second front against Israel. Israel has no choice but to defend itself, and Washington is right to defend both Israel and the US interests in the region.