The U.S. has been fortifying its positions in the Middle East in preparation for a direct war with Iran as Israel continues to destroy Gaza, choke off Gazans from life-saving aid, and prepare for a ground invasion that could result in Iranian proxies joining the conflict.
The Financial Times reported last week that U.S. forces stationed in the region have come under attack since the 7 October Hamas invasion in Israel. Washington was said to have urged Jerusalem to hold off on any ground invasion to get its weapon systems in place, a claim that President Joe Biden denied.
U.S. “officials and strategists” have embraced the delay so these systems can be armed, the paper reported. The U.S. has also positioned two carrier groups in the eastern Mediterranean to keep Iran in check.
“It gets easier for us to deter them as more forces flow into the theater and Israel gets stronger every day,” Gen. Frank McKenzie (ret.), told the paper. “Time is our friend here.”
The U.S. has already conducted military operations in eastern Syria, including two missile strikes on facilities believed to be used by Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps. The U.S. said these strikes were in retaliation and it does “not seek conflict and has no intention nor desire to engage in further hostilities, but these Iranian-backed attacks against U.S. forces are unacceptable and must stop.”
The paper reported that there are about 30,000 U.S. forces in the Middle East, including 3,500 in Iraq and Syria. The report noted that the U.S. also maintains bases in the region, and the Navy’s Fifth Fleet is in Bahrain.
Iran has warned that an Israeli ground invasion in Gaza would be disastrous for Israel.
“If the Israelis fight on the ground, they will be swallowed,” Major General Hossein Salami, a top Iranian commander, said.
Salami also the U.S. is ultimately responsible for the humanitarian catastrophe in Gaza.
TRENDPOST: It is worth noting that the U.S. has no right to be in Syria and Iraq.
Gerald Celente has long asked: Would the U.S. have invaded Iraq and Libya if the country’s chief export was broccoli? (See “SYRIA ACCUSES U.S. OF PLUNDERING OIL, OTHER ‘STRATEGIC RESOURCES’” 19 Sep 2023, “U.S. ACCUSES RUSSIA OF HARASSING DRONES OVER SYRIA”11 Jul 2023, “U.S. RAMPING UP CONFRONTATION WITH RUSSIA IN SYRIA” 18 Jul 2023, “U.S. SAYS RUSSIAN JETS ARE GRINDING FOR A FIGHT OVER SYRIA” 2 May 2023, and “U.S. BOMBS SYRIA IN RETALIATION STRIKE AFTER CONTRACTOR’S DEATH” 28 Mar 2023.)
Syria’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Expatriates sent a letter to Antonio Guterres, the UN’s secretary-general, that accused the U.S. of plundering its natural resources—like oil and gas reserves—during Washington’s yearslong occupation in the name of fighting terrorists.
U.S. troops have been in Syria since 2015 with the so-called mandate to assist local forces in the fight against ISIS. There are about 900 U.S. troops currently stationed in Syria and an unknown number of mercenaries.
The U.S. has no right to be in Syria, a foreign nation that is no threat and has made no threats to America. The troop presence in Syria has sparked fresh tensions between Washington and Moscow. Russian forces have been invited by Damascus to stay in the country.
Iranian leadership has said the claim by the U.S. that its forces are in the country to fight ISIS is nonsense and “only an excuse by the United States to maintain its occupation of Syria and keep looting the Arab country’s national resources, including energy and grains.”
Tasnim News Agency said the letter called on American officials to be “held accountable for these thefts and that the American administration be forced to compensate for them.”
In March, The House of Representatives voted in opposition to a bill that would call for the immediate withdrawal of U.S. troops stationed in Syria’s oil-rich region under the guise of fighting ISIS.
“We are not a Middle Eastern power. We have tried to build a democracy out of sand, blood, and Arab militias. Time and again, the work we do does not reduce chaos. Oftentimes, it causes chaos–the very chaos that then subsequently leads to terrorism. While today’s vote may have failed, my fight to end forever wars and bring our troops home has only just begun,” Rep. Matt Gaetz, the Florida Republican who introduced the bill, said. The Squad’s Ilhan Omar, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, and Rashida Tlaib, all Democrats.
While the U.S. said it does not want war with Iran, there is concern in Washington that Iranian proxies could use the moment to increase attacks, namely Hezbollah. The FT’s report, citing an Iranian news outlet, reported that Iran believes the chances that Hezbollah joins the war effort on behalf of Hamas is now likely.