On Monday, June 28, 2021, it became known that the United States government had executed another round of airstrikes against Iranian militia in Iraq and Syria. The previous Sunday, the military had released a report saying it was mainly targeting operations and weapons storage facilities in the two countries. The report did not say whether or not the military believed anyone had been killed.
The UK-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said otherwise. They said at least five soldiers were killed while others were seriously injured. Another source, an official Syrian news agency called SANA, said a child was killed and at least three people were injured. The order for the attack came from President Joe Biden. It was supposed to be a retaliation against the Iranian army. It was the second attack, the first dating back to February against militias in Syria.
John Kirby, speaking on behalf of the Pentagon, said “the United States has taken necessary, appropriate, and deliberate actions designed to limit the risk of escalation.” The potential escalation he refers to is the ongoing conflict between Iran and the United States. The relationship between the United States and Iran was once decent, but things started to deteriorate in the late 1900s.
There are different explanations for what caused the souring of the relationship. On Iran’s side, some explanations include America’s lack of assistance during the Islamic Revolution and the need to scapegoat domestic repression against Iranian reformists. On the American side, a hypothetical reason is the Iran hostage crisis in 1979, which took place when more than fifty American diplomats and citizens were held hostage due to members of the Iranian Revolution, who supported Muslim student followers. of the Imam’s line, taking control of the US Embassy. in Tehran. Six diplomats escaped the attack and were eventually rescued by CIA and Canadian forces.
Then-US President Jimmy Carter called the act “blackmail, terrorism and anarchy”. It was also seen by the Americans as a massive violation of international law, as stated in the Vienna Convention. The law greatly protected diplomats, granting them immunity from arrest and confinement. However, diplomatic negotiations between Iran and the United States failed and the hostages were not released.
Carter ordered Operation Eagle Claw, an attempted rescue mission by the United States military. Two warships have been employed to patrol the seas near Iran, the USS Nimitz and the USS Coral Sea. The attempt was a failure, when US servicemen and an Iranian civilian were killed in a fatal helicopter crash. In the midst of all this, in 1980, Iraq invaded Iran. This started the Iran-Iraq War, which lasted about eight years and ended in a stalemate. The Iranian government was forced to enter into negotiations with the United States while Algeria acted as a mediator. Another contact with open conflict occurred during the Persian Gulf War in 2019.
At present, there are still massive tensions between the two countries. Nuclear agreements have already been reached, but the Trump administration has withdrawn from them. Overall, according to a BBC World Service poll, only 5% of Americans see Iran in a positive light while 87% see it in a negative light. Nonprofits should call for an end to US government airstrikes, as they typically result in civilian casualties.