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US Hits Iranian Revolutionary Guards as Middle East Conflict Expands

February 5, 2024

by: Joshua Spurlock ~ The Mideast Update

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US Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin

Monday, 5 February 2024 | In response to an attack that killed three American soldiers, the United States on Friday struck more than 85 targets in Iraq and Syria used by Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) and affiliated militias to attack US forces.

Commenting on the strikes, US Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin warned, “This is the start of our response.”

The retaliation comes as the US and United Kingdom continue to attack Yemen’s Iran-backed Houthi group that is threatening international shipping and Israel.

On Friday, the Israeli Arrow missile defense system shot down a surface-to-surface missile that “approached Israeli territory in the area of the Red Sea,” the IDF said on X. Yemen’s SABA news agency, affiliated with the Houthis, claimed credit for firing a “number of ballistic missiles” at Israel. Neither the IDF nor SABA reported any damage from the attack.

As Israel responds in Gaza to Hamas’s unprecedented terror massacre on October 7 that murdered 1,200 Israelis—mostly civilians—Iran and its proxies continue to broaden the conflict that now includes Lebanon, Syria, Iraq, Yemen, shipping in the Red Sea and US armed forces in the region. Israeli Defense Minister Yoav Gallant recently called for a global coalition to address the Iranian threat.

Gallant briefed a delegation United Nations ambassadors last week on “Iran’s aggression against Israel via 7 different arenas.” He stated that Israel is determined to act against any threat, while also highlighting the important role of the international community in countering Iran’s regional aggression.

The US is acting in that role, with President Joe Biden calling for “additional actions to hold the IRGC and affiliated militias accountable for their attacks” on US and Coalition Forces.

The initial series of US strikes killed at least 18 members of “Iranian militias,” according to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights. Austin said further retaliation “will unfold at times and places of our choosing. We do not seek conflict in the Middle East or anywhere else, but the President and I will not tolerate attacks on American forces.”

The American targeting of Iran-affiliated sites comes after a drone launched by an IRGC-backed militia killed three US soldiers stationed in Jordan on January 28.

Meanwhile, the US and UK on Saturday hit 36 more Houthi targets in response to the Iran-backed group’s attacks on international shipping in the Red Sea. According to the US Defense Department, the “precision strikes are intended to disrupt and degrade the capabilities that the Houthis use to threaten global trade, and the lives of innocent mariners, and are in response to a series of illegal, dangerous, and destabilizing Houthi actions.” The Houthis have reportedly launched more than 30 attacks at commercial and naval vessels since November.

The current conflict began as an unprovoked attack against Israel by Hamas, but Iran was likely involved since the beginning, and now continues to stoke the flames to prevent the progress of peace in the Middle East.

Posted on February 5, 2024

Source: (Excerpt from this article was originally published by the Mideast Update on February 4, 2024. Time-related language has been modified to reflect our republication today.)

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