Early this morning, Iran launched a series of ballistic missiles at different locations in Northern Iraq, including near the United States consulate in Erbil. According to reports, these attacks were carried out by the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps and were aimed at “headquarters of spies” and “anti-Iranian terrorist gatherings.” This marks a significant escalation of hostilities in the Middle East and raises questions about how the Biden administration will respond.
While some videos claiming to show the moment of impact have been debunked, others appear to be genuine and show missiles being launched from inside Iran. The U.S. is said to have tracked these missiles and confirmed that no U.S. facilities were damaged in the attacks. However, this does not diminish the severity of the situation and the potential for further escalation.
This is a departure from past attacks carried out by Iran, as the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps has taken direct credit for the attacks. In the past, Iran has used proxy militias to carry out such assaults in order to maintain plausible deniability. But in this case, Iran is making it clear that they are responsible for the attacks and are sending a message to the U.S.
The timing of these attacks is also significant as they come just a week after Joe Biden was inaugurated as the new President of the United States. This is the first major foreign policy challenge for the Biden administration, and it will set the tone for how they approach Iran and the broader Middle East region.
— Open Source Intel (@Osint613) January 15, 2024
Israel assassinated a couple Hezbollah leaders in Lebanon last week, and the IRGC strikes on the Mossad facility and a Kurdish oil tycoon linked to Israel in Erbil seem to be Iran’s retaliation
— Jack Poso 🇺🇸 (@JackPosobiec) January 15, 2024
The Biden administration has already expressed concern about Iran’s actions, with a State Department spokesperson condemning the attacks and calling on Iran to “cease further escalation.” It is yet to be seen what concrete actions the U.S. will take in response to these attacks, but a firm and measured response is likely on the table.
This is not the first time that tensions between the U.S. and Iran have flared up, and it is a reminder of the volatile relationship between the two countries. The U.S. and Iran have been at odds for decades, and the recent nuclear deal, which was scrapped by the Trump administration, had provided a brief period of relative calm.
Two days ago, Biden told reporters “I’ve already delivered the message to Iran. They know not to do anything.”
Today, they attacked the US consulate and airport in Northern Iraq. pic.twitter.com/npMYZoztKZ
— Greg Price (@greg_price11) January 15, 2024
The Biden administration has indicated that they are open to rejoining the nuclear deal, but these attacks complicate the situation and could delay any potential negotiations. It is clear that Iran is sending a message to the U.S. and the rest of the world that they will not back down despite the change in leadership.