Thomas Gallatin / March 16, 2020

U.S. Retaliates After Iran Picks a Fight

An Iran-backed missile strike killed two American soldiers, so Trump hit back hard.

The U.S. military launched an airstrike against five Iranian-backed militia sites in northern Iraq late last week, killing an estimated three to four dozen militia members. The strike was in response to a rocket attack against U.S. and coalition forces earlier in the week that killed three soldiers, including two Americans and one British, and wounded over a dozen more. Following the U.S. strike Defense Secretary Mark Esper stated, “The United States will not tolerate attacks against our people, our interests, or our allies. As we have demonstrated in recent months, we will take any action necessary to protect our forces in Iraq and the region.” He also noted, “You don’t get to shoot at our bases and kill and wound Americans and get away with it.”

It appears clear that Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei has not backed off his proxy-war efforts against the U.S. in Iraq and Syria even after the U.S. took out his top terrorist, Gen. Qasem Soleimani. In fact, he seems to be escalating matters.

As Tom Rogan at Washington Examiner notes, “Iran’s escalation also takes another form. Iran is now more resolute in expanding its nuclear program. Again, Iran knows that doing so risks Israeli or U.S. military action. But Khamenei has evidently decided to roll the dice in a last-ditch effort to blackmail America into sanctions relief. The supreme leader’s escalation-reflex is likely exacerbated in an Iranian interest point of view by the Saudi decision this week to boost its oil export scale and send oil prices plummeting. U.S. sanctions have annihilated Iran’s oil economy, so what little Tehran is still able to export is critical to the regime’s finances.”

To top it off, Iran is struggling with the coronavirus outbreak. It’s the typical mindset of tyrannical regimes: The people don’t matter, only the leader’s agenda.

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