Time to Fight Back

In the U.S. capital, President Joe Biden directed the nation’s armed forces to conduct counterstrikes on groups backed by Iran following the wounding of three American military personnel due to a drone assault in Iraq’s north. Finally, we’ve had enough and decided it’s time to do something about it.

Adrienne Watson, spokesperson for the National Security Council, reported that the assault earlier on Monday left one American soldier critically injured. Kataib Hezbollah and other groups aligned with Iran, part of a larger coalition of militants supported by Iran, claimed responsibility for this attack using a drone designed for a single-use assault.

Iraqi authorities noted that the American counterattacks early Tuesday resulted in the death of one terrorist and injuries to 18 others. These incidents occur amidst growing concerns about the conflict between Israel and Hamas potentially spreading throughout the region.

Iran disclosed on Monday that an Israeli assault near Damascus, Syria, led to the death of Razi Mousavi, a prominent Iranian general and close associate of Gen. Qassem Soleimani, the late commander of Iran’s elite Quds Force. The U.S. killed Soleimani in a drone strike in Iraq in January 2020.

Iranians Swear Vengeance

While Iranian authorities have sworn vengeance for Mousavi’s death, no immediate retaliatory action has been taken. The militia’s attack in northern Iraq was initiated before the Syrian strike that resulted in Mousavi’s death.

During the Christmas holiday at Maryland’s Camp David presidential retreat, Biden was briefed on the assault by Jake Sullivan, his national security advisor. In response, Biden instructed the Pentagon and his senior national security team to formulate possible reactions to the attack on an airbase utilized by U.S. troops in Irbil.

Sullivan, in consultation with Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin and Jon Finer, Biden’s deputy national security advisor who was present with the president at Camp David, gathered top aides to deliberate on the available options. This information comes from a U.S. official who wished to remain anonymous and unauthorized to speak publicly.

Biden convened a call with his national security team within hours, during which Austin and Gen. CQ Brown, the Joint Chiefs of Staff chair, presented him with the response options. Biden chose to target three sites associated with Kataib Hezbollah and its allied factions.