Iran is sponsoring attacks on US bases.
At the forefront of current concerns is the immediate peril faced by American forces in the region due to a recent surge in attacks in Iraq and Syria. Additionally, there has been a notable increase in assaults on commercial shipping in the Red Sea, posing a direct risk to U.S. warships. The intensification of these attacks has prompted growing calls for the Biden administration to adopt a more robust response, with both current and former officials expressing frustration over the perceived inadequacy of the Pentagon’s actions in deterring further violence.
Iran-backed militia groups have been responsible for launching a staggering 94 attacks, involving drones and rockets, against U.S. positions in Iraq and Syria since October 17. A Defence Department official, speaking on the condition of anonymity due to the sensitivity of operational issues, provided this information. The attacks have resulted in at least 66 U.S. service members sustaining minor injuries, with 19 diagnosed with traumatic brain injuries.
Despite multiple responses from U.S. forces, including precision airstrikes on facilities linked to Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps and affiliated groups in Syria, the attacks persist. Notably, an AC-130J gunship was deployed last month, targeting proxy forces. Additionally, five militants preparing to launch a drone strike in Iraq were separately eliminated. However, these measures have yet to effectively curb the ongoing attacks.
Simultaneously, Houthi rebels, supported by Tehran and based in Yemen, have escalated their strikes on international shipping in the Red Sea. This has increasingly drawn in U.S. warships, with many targeted civilian ships either owned or operated by Israel or Israeli companies or crewed by Israelis. The USS Mason, a destroyer, intercepted a drone heading towards the ship while responding to reports of a suspected Houthi assault on a commercial oil tanker last Wednesday, as reported by an official. The situation underscores the complex and multifaceted challenges the U.S. faces in the region, necessitating a comprehensive and strategic approach to address the evolving threats.