The recent US airstrikes, in response to a rocket attack on an Iraqi military base, have brought huge condemnation from Russia and Iran, both being strategic and military allies. The attack in Kirkuk wounded several US troops and killed an American contractor.
The conflicts in Iraq and Syria have brought Iran and Russia together. Iran on various occasions, has recognized Russia’s constructive leadership in Syria, along with its skillful use of energy cooperation to further economic and geopolitical interests.
Failed western policies have resulted in Russia’s growing influence in the Middle Eastern region, which is now a major challenge to the US’ dominance in the region. This is because Russia’s geopolitical rivalry with the US is years old, with many presidencies hoping, but failing to improve ties with Kremlin.
The US’ tensions with Iran, being one of the major Middle-Eastern powers, is collapsing its deterrence throughout the region. The reinstated economic sanctions on Iran have further put maximum trade pressure on the country, bringing it closer to Russia and its strategies.
The US airstrikes hit three targets of an Iranian-backed militia Kata’ib Hezbollah in Iraq and two in Syria, complicating the ongoing US-Iran feud. The Pentagon announced the attack, on Sunday, adding that the target included weapons depots and command-and-control locations to plan its attacks.
Warning the consequences of the US airstrikes, Iran said that the attack killed 25 people. The anti-Iranians in Congress cheered Pentagon’s actions, with government supporters calling it a “justified response”.
“Tehran must stop attacking Americans or else face even graver consequences,” Sen. Tom Cotton tweeted.
What US fears the most is the Iranian military’s escalation with the help of Russia, that has been supplying weapon systems to Iran, further increasing the risk of violence and destabilizing the Middle-Eastern peace. It could further pose questions on the US’ treatment of Iran.
In the past, thousands of US troops have been deployed to the Middle Eastern countries to fight against terrorism, over the pledge that any attack harming the Americans or its interests will be answered with a decisive US response.
Defense Secretary Mark Esper called the retaliatory US airstrikes “successful”. Former National Security Adviser John Bolton, irrespective of his disagreements over other government policies, called the strikes “overdue” and “a good first step”.
Despite Iran’s denial, the US believes that the former has attacked several oil tankers in the Gulf region. The case of Iran’s attack on US drone, claiming that it was flying in Iranian airspace severed tensions between the two countries. The US military said the drone was downed over international waters in the strait of Hormuz.
The beginning of the Middle-Eastern tensions called for more deployment of the US troops.
Considering Iran as a dangerous actor, the Democrats have called the government’s approach of dealing with the problem as inconsistent. But, will this kind of approach impact the US’ foreign policy in the long run? Something that remains in queue of questions, determining the future of the US.
Condemning the US airstrikes, Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman Abbas Mousavi criticized the country for openly showing its support to terrorism, while neglecting the independence and national sovereignty of countries.
“It must accept responsibility of the consequences of the illegal attacks,” Mousavi said.
Meanwhile, State Secretary Mike Pompeo has called it a defensive action.
It appeared as if it was aimed to deter Iran’s growing influence over the militia groups in other Middle-Eastern countries, simultaneously showing an exit to Russian policies in the region, where the US asserts its regional dominance.