On Monday, June 28th, 2021, word got out that the United States government executed another set of airstrikes against Iranian militia in Iraq and Syria. On the Sunday before, the military gave a report that said it was mainly targeting operation and weapons storage facilities in the two countries. The report did not say whether or not the military believed anyone was killed.
The British-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said otherwise. They said that at least five soldiers were killed while others were severely wounded. Another source, a Syrian state-run news agency called SANA, said one child was killed while at least three people were wounded. The order for the bombing came from President Joe Biden. It was meant to be a retaliation against the Iranian military. This was the second attack, the first one being back in February against militia in Syria.
John Kirby, speaking on behalf of the Pentagon, says that, “The United States took necessary, appropriate, and deliberate action designed to limit the risk of escalation.” The potential escalation he is referring to is the ongoing Iran-United States conflict. The relationship between the United States and Iran was once decent, however things started going downhill in the late 1900s.
There are different explanations for what caused the souring of the relationship. On Iran’s side, some explanations include America’s lack of assistance during the Islamic Revolution and the need to pin domestic repression against Iranian reformists on a scapegoat. On America’s side, one hypothetical reason is the Iran hostage crisis of 1979, which was when over fifty American diplomats and citizens were held hostage due to members of the Iranian Revolution, who supported Muslim Student Followers of the Imam’s Line, taking over the U.S. Embassy in Tehran. Six diplomats had evaded the attack and were eventually rescued by the CIA and Canadian forces.
The U.S. President at the time, Jimmy Carter, called the act one of “blackmail, terrorism, and anarchy.” It was also seen by Americans as a massive violation of international law, as stated in the Vienna Convention. The law greatly protected diplomats, giving them immunity from arrest and containment. However, diplomatic negotiations between Iran and the United States failed and the hostages were not released.
Carter ordered Operation Eagle Claw, an attempt at a rescue mission by the U.S. military. Two warships were employed to patrol the seas near Iran, the USS Nimitz and USS Coral Sea. The attempt was a failure, when American servicemen and one Iranian civilian were killed in a deadly helicopter crash. In the middle of all of this, in 1980, Iraq invaded Iran. This began the Iran-Iraq War, which lasted around eight years and ended with a stalemate. The Iranian government was forced to enter negotiations with the U.S. while Algeria acted as a mediator. Another brush with open conflict occurred during the Persian Gulf War in 2019.
As of now, there is still massive tension between the two countries. Nuclear deals were once established, but the Trump administration withdrew from them. Overall, according to a BBC World Service poll, only 5% of Americans view Iran in a positive light while 87% view them in a negative light. Non-profit organizations should call for the halt of airstrikes by the American government, as they usually end in civilian casualties.
- Airstrikes Against Iranian Military Executed In Syria And Iraq By American Government - July 15, 2021
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