The US Navy guided-missile destroyer USS Mason, seen in 2021

Iran Proxies Resume Attacks On US Troops

Thursday, 11/30/2023

Attacks on US forces in the Middle East resumed Wednesday, after several days of relative calm which coincided with the ceasefire between Israel and Hamas.

A US defense official told Iran International that American troops in Syria were targeted Wednesday morning, only a day after the Pentagon press secretary spoke of a lull in hostile activities since 23 November.

Also on Wednesday, an Iranian-made drone launched from Yemen was shot down by USS Carney destroyer near the Bab el-Mandeb Strait.

“Although its intentions are not known, the UAV was heading toward the warship,” read the statement from the US Central Command (CENTCOM). “The USS Carney was escorting the USNS SUPPLY (Oiler) and another U.S. flagged and crewed ship carrying military equipment to the region. There were no injuries to U.S. personnel and no damage to U.S. vessels.”

Since mid-October, US forces in Iraq and Syria have come under attack 74 times. It is widely believed that all have been carried out by Iran proxies. The regime officials, however, deny involvement while praising the “courage” of those they call ‘axis of resistance’ –from Iraq to Syria to Yemen and southern Lebanon.

Iran’s ambassador to the UN claimed Tuesday that his country has “never had a hand in actions or attacks against US military forces in Syria or elsewhere.”

Iran having provided financial and military support to Hamas for two decades, has preferred not get directly involved in the Gaza war, but its proxy forces conduct attacks for what they say is US support for Israel.

Biden critics say his Iran policy has emboldened the regime and its proxies, who see little downside to their adventurism. Although the US military has launched several retaliatory attacks in Syria and Iraq, but Iran's Revolutionary Guard who control the proxy forces have not been targeted. In addition, while these attacks take place, the Biden administration has allowed Iraq to release billion of dollars of frozen Iranian funds.

On Tuesday, an IRGC-affiliated news agency published a video of the aircraft carrier USS Dwight D. Eisenhower being monitored with drones while passing through the Strait of Hormuz.

“Multiple hails and warnings were ignored by Iran,” according to a CENTCOM statement condemning the incident. “This unsafe, unprofessional, and irresponsible behavior by Iran risks US and partner nation lives and needs to cease immediately.”

The Biden administration has repeatedly stated that it reserves the right to defend American troops and that it would do so with whatever means necessary. But many on the Capitol question the will and the judgment of the administration when it comes to dealing with Iran and its proxies.

“Biden unfroze $6 billion in Iranian funds. Weeks later, Hamas terrorists attacked Israel,” Congressman Russell Fry posted on X Wednesday. “Iran knowingly funds Hamas. Actions have consequences. We must pass the No Funds for Iranian Terrorism Act, which would refreeze these funds and limit Iran's ability to fund terrorism."

A former IRGC officer Ezzatollah Zarghami recently admitted on Iranian state TV that the regime was responsible for supplying rockets to Hamas and Hezbollah.

Zarghami, currently Iran’s minister for Cultural Heritage, said: “I traveled to the region as the production manager of those rockets... I spent some time underground (inside tunnels). I held training sessions for them: on the usage of the rockets, their features. And they were successful classes.”

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