US Airstrikes Hit Iran-Backed Sites in Syria

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    The Facts

    • The US launched "precision“ strikes against targets in Syria allegedly used by the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC), the Pentagon announced on Monday. The strikes were in response to "continued attacks" on US bases in Iraq and Syria by Iranian-backed forces, US Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin said.

    • Austin added that the strikes in Syria's Deir ez-Zor governorate hit a training facility on the Iraqi border and a safe house near the city of Mayadeen. An anonymous US official told The Associated Press that one of the sites also included weapons storage.

    The Spin

    Establishment-critical narrative

    Despite the tragic casualties on both sides of the conflict, the US — looking to shore up its political standing with Israel — has unequivocally supported Tel Aviv while largely ignoring the horrors experienced by the Palestinians. This is a dangerous maneuver that has abandoned Washington's national interests in the rest of the region, leaving room for other actors to intervene. If the US wants to avoid a regional escalation, it must reel in Israel's military posture to prevent larger-scale conflicts.

    Pro-establishment narrative

    While there's no clear evidence that Tehran was involved in Hamas's savage assault on Israel, recent attacks by Iranian-backed militias on US bases show that the Iranian regime is playing with fire. Meanwhile, other Iranian proxies like Hezbollah threaten to open a second front against Israel. Israel has no choice but to defend itself, and Washington is right to defend both Israel and the US interests in the region.

    Nerd narrative

    There is a 30% chance that a state-based conflict between Israel and Iran will cause at least 1,000 deaths before 2025, according to the Metaculus prediction community

    Establishment split



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