Iran Calls US & UK’s Strikes On Iraq, Syria A “Mistake”

Tehran: Iran has criticized the United States’ decision to launch airstrikes on Iraq and Syria, calling it an error in strategic judgment that targeted 85 sites across both countries last Friday.

The sound of American firepower has once again gripped the Middle East after the United States launched retaliatory strikes targeting Iranian-backed militias in Iraq and Syria. This muscular response follows a deadly attack on a U.S. military base in Iraq last week, which Washington blames on Tehran’s proxies.

While Iran has predictably denounced the strikes as a “strategic mistake,” criticism has also emerged from Iraq and Syria condemning America’s breach of sovereignty. Russia too, has called for an urgent UN Security Council meeting, underscoring Moscow’s support for Tehran. The strikes have inflamed regional tensions and could have far-reaching geopolitical ripples.

For Washington, the intended message behind this demonstration of military might is unambiguous – it will not hesitate to exercise hard power in responding to attacks on its personnel deployed across the Middle East. U.S. President Joe Biden has signaled that such precision strikes on Iranian affiliates will continue if Tehran keeps up its shadow war.

America’s fiery act also sends a wider signal that despite the pivot towards great power competition with Russia and China, Washington will fiercely protect its interests in the Middle East. This is bound to increase tensions with the Iranian regime and its network of proxies, who will likely feel encouraged to target U.S. assets.

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Iraq is caught in the crosshairs of this geopolitical jostling as its sovereignty stands violated. Prime Minister Mustafa Al-Kadhimi faces the unenvious task of fiercely condemning the U.S. strikes for domestic political reasons while balancing Baghdad’s ties with the superpower protector on whom it depends for security. The U.S. actions severely undermine his government’s legitimacy at a time when Iraq can ill-afford internal instability.

For Syria’s Assad regime, the U.S. strikes are an inconvenient reminder of who truly wields power in the region. While Damascus and Tehran share a strategic embrace, Assad has to reluctantly accept that American firepower remains the ultimate trump card in Syria. This could potentially give Washington more leverage to shape outcomes in Syria’s decade-long conflict.

Moscow may despite Washington’s muscle-flexing, but President Putin has limited options given Russia’s over-extended position in Syria and Ukraine. While Foreign Minister Lavrov has called for restraint and de-escalation, Moscow is unlikely to directly challenge American military power in the region at this juncture.

More Instability in the Middle East

The big question now is how Iran chooses to respond to what it sees as Washington’s provocations. Does it escalate through its proxies or bide its time? Tehran has long mastered the art of asymmetric warfare to bleed America, but that risks outright confrontation. Iran’s calculations will determine whether cooler heads prevail or the Middle East descends into further turmoil.

What is certain is that the region sits on the cusp of a dangerous escalation as an array of forces vie for supremacy. While the major powers and regional actors desire stability, their actions risk conflagration. The reverberations of American firepower in Iraq and Syria are merely the latest episode in this complex geopolitical struggle where volatility is the new normal.


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