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Strikes in Syria: The Bigger Picture

Tensions rise in the Middle East as Washington responds to Iran-linked attacks on a U.S. base in Syria.

On Thursday, March 23, a notable attack on a coalition base led to the death of an American contractor and left several others wounded in proximity to Al Hasakah, Syria.

In response, on orders from President Biden, the U.S. military issued drone strikes on multiple housing groups linked to Iran.

Shortly after the strikes, President Biden released his own statement while on a two-day trip in Canada: “‘Make no mistake: the United States does not – does not – seek conflict with Iran. But be prepared for us to forcefully protect our people,’” according to CNN.

As deduced by the U.S. Department of Defense, multiple groups associated with the attack have links with Iran and its Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC). 

U.S. Secretary of Defense, Lloyd Austin, stated President Biden “had ordered the ‘precision air strikes … in eastern Syria against facilities used by groups affiliated with Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps,’” according to The Guardian.

The U.S. ordered drone strikes on locations where the Iran-backed militias were operating, which resulted in the death of “three Syrian regime soldiers and 16 members of Iran-backed forces, including 11 Syrian nationals,” according to The Guardian

Although seeing the President and his administration defend American troops against imminent threats is refreshing, one cannot help but wonder how enemies of the U.S. found the gall to attack one of the most powerful militaries on the planet after multiple years of not doing so.

Perhaps the U.S. currently appears weak to enemy nations, and they are seeking to take advantage of it. Since the Biden administration took office, a new State Department and softer foreign policy has prescribed the executive branch a different reputation on the world stage.

 The retaliation the American military received from the Iran-linked militias after the strike precisely exhibits this, which has only led to the U.S. decision of striking more: “Hours after the strikes, 10 rockets were fired at American and coalition forces at the Green Village base in north-east Syria,” according to U.S. Central Command via The Guardian.

Additionally, upon entering office, the Biden administration resumed beneficial diplomacy with Iran and reestablished the Iran Nuclear Deal, appeasing a nation who wishes harm upon the U.S. instead of refusing to comply with their attacks against soldiers of the United States military. 

As we know from history, appeasement towards an aggressor never works; all it does is empower the bully. At least the Biden administration responded with a strong deterrence, although such a response would never have occurred if initial strength and a strong image was present in the leadership of the United States.

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