The US has observed an increase in attacks on its military bases in Syria and Gaza since Israel started bombing the region on October 7.
Growing threats against US forces have sparked worries that the Israel-Hamas conflict might spread throughout the region. Furthermore.
On Thursday, missiles and drones were fired at US military installations in Iraq. Following comparable events in Iraq and Syria on Wednesday, the attacks contributed to Washington being on high alert for activity by armed groups backed by Iran. Additionally, a US warship intercepted missiles that may have been aimed towards Israel.
In the last two weeks, President Joe Biden has dispatched two aircraft carriers, several warships, and roughly 2,000 marines to the Middle East.
Since the conflict in Israel began on October 7, when Palestinian fighters from Hamas, the armed organization that controls Gaza, attacked southern Israel, there have been more attacks on US forces.
A number of drones aimed at troops were stopped earlier this week by US forces.
On Wednesday, one drone downed and another struck US forces in Syria, inflicting minor injuries.
A civilian contractor at the Iraqi airbase Ain al-Asad airbase passed away from cardiac arrest following a false alarm.
But on Thursday, the base—which houses US and other foreign forces in western Iraq—came under attack from drones and rockets. Inside the base, there were several explosions audible.
Additionally, according to Iraqi police, rockets struck a military base housing US forces close to Baghdad’s international airport. However, they did not provide any additional information.
“We will take all necessary actions to defend US and coalition forces against any threat,” Pentagon spokesman Brigadier General Patrick Ryder told reporters, “while I’m not going to forecast any potential responses to these attacks.”.
Drones were spotted.
Ryder claimed that the Houthi movement, which is aligned with Iran, was responsible for launching multiple drone attacks and three missiles over the northern Red Sea that were intercepted by a US Navy warship near Yemen. Israel appeared to be in the line of flight for the projectiles, according to the official.
“The targets of these missiles and drones are unknown, but they were launched from Yemen and traveled north through the Red Sea, possibly towards Israel,” a Pentagon spokesperson told reporters during a press briefing.
Ryder stated he could find no connection between the uptick in attacks and the war between Israel and Hamas.
“Again, as of right now, there is no clear link between the information we have and the Hamas attacks on October 7,” he declared.
‘Joint operations room’ established to support Hamas in its war effort was announced by Iran-allied groups in Iraq on Wednesday.
Two officials with Iranian-backed armed groups in Iraq, who spoke to the AP news agency on condition of anonymity because they were not authorised to speak publicly.
The Islamic Resistance in Iraq, an umbrella group of Iranian-backed fighters, has issued a statement claiming responsibility for the two drone attacks in Iraq and saying it “heralds more operations” against the “American occupation”.
The United States has 2,500 troops in Iraq, and 900 more in neighbouring Syria, on a mission to advise and assist local forces in fighting the ISIL (ISIS) armed group, which in 2014 seized swaths of territory in both countries.
In past years, Iranian-backed fighters regularly targeted US forces and the US embassy in Baghdad with rockets. Such attacks had abated under a truce in place since last year, and Iraq has had a period of relative calm.
But the war in Gaza has revived tensions. The country’s top Shia Muslim leader, Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani, last week condemned Israel and called on the world to stand up to the “terrible brutality” in besieged Gaza.
about the issue, confirmed the attacks on the two US bases on Wednesday.
They said the groups were on alert and prepared to join the wider battle against Israel, but that Iran had not yet given approval for them to open a new front.
The increased tension has provoked warnings from officials across the lines of the risk of a spillover of the conflict to the wider region.
Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov . warned. on Thursday of the potential for a regional crisis, saying efforts to pin blame on Iran were adding fuel to the fire.
The same day, European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen labelled the risk of regional spillover from the Israel-Hamas war as “real”.
Underscoring the need to tighten sanctions on Iran, which she said was supplying Hamas, von der Leyen also said dialogue between Israel and its neighbours must continue.
“We have seen the Arab streets fill with rage all across the region. So the risk of a regional spillover is real,” she said.
“Iran, Hamas’s patron, only wants to fuel the fire of chaos. Russia, Iran’s wartime customer, is watching carefully. Russia and Hamas are alike,” the EU leader said.
Von der Leyen decried the “evil role that Iran plays in the background”, adding that it was “without question” that Iran supplied 93 percent of the weapons being used by Hamas.
She said it was vital to continue sanctioning Iran, as well as to widen sanctions and crackdown on sanctions evasion.
“That we have to step up is without question,” she said.
Earlier this week, the United Nations Middle East peace envoy warned the Security Council that the risk of expansion of the conflict between Israel and Hamas was “very real, and extremely dangerous”.
“I fear that we are at the brink of a deep and dangerous abyss that could change the trajectory of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, if not of the Middle East as a whole,” said Tor Wennesland, addressing the 15-member body via video from Doha, Qatar.