BREAKING – After what many considered President Biden’s limp-wristed response last week to repeated Iranian-backed militia attacks against U.S. assets in Iraq, more militia rockets struck a military base in western Iraq hosting U.S. and coalition troops on Wednesday. One American civilian contractor died as a result.
The rockets struck Ain al-Asad air base in Anbar province at 7:20 a.m., Combined Joint Task Force-Operation Inherent Resolve spokesman Col. Wayne Marotto said earlier in a tweet.
10 Indirect Fire rockets and Iraqi Security Forces are investigating.
— OIR Spokesman Col. Wayne Marotto (@OIRSpox) March 3, 2021
The American contractor reportedly died from cardiac arrest while sheltering from the attack.
This attack follows soon after the U.S. struck Iran-aligned militia targets along the Iraq-Syria border last week that killed all of one militiaman. Firing at empty buildings at a glorified ‘tea-stop’ for militants in Syria was a less than effective response to the Iranian regime’s clear tests of Biden’s resolve.
Earlier Team Biden had said they would not ‘lash out’ after another Iranian-backed militia rocket attack against the U.S. embassy in Baghdad. As I wrote,
Following the third rocket attack against U.S. assets, bases and personnel in Iraq by Iranian-backed militias in a week, on Monday, the Biden administration says it will hold Iran ‘responsible’ but won’t ‘lash out’ in response. That appears to be ‘Biden-speak’ for again not doing anything at all about Iranian-backed attacks against the United States.
The pinprick attack in Syria last week was the only Biden response thus far and has been roundly criticized as inadequate.
Regarding today’s deadly attack against the U.S. base, Pentagon Spokesman John Kirby said: “We cannot attribute responsibility at this time.” But the Iraqi military released a statement later saying that security forces had found the launch pad used for the missiles, reported Military Times. An Iraqi military official said they had been found in the al-Baghdadi area of Anbar, it added.
This latest rocket attack is creating fears of further escalation by Iran, similar to the series of tit-for-tat attacks that escalated last year, culminating in the bold and unexpected U.S. drone strike ordered by President Trump that killed Iranian terror master, Qassim Soleimani outside Baghdad airport.
That strike shattered Iran’s strategic calculus in the region and scrambled their ability to pursue their aggressive expansionism. Other than one symbolic Iranian ballistic rocket attack as retaliation for Trump’s Soleimani strike, and despite repeated threats, Iran had refrained from attacking any other U.S. personnel or assets, for almost a year, until Biden’s election and inauguration.
By Biden engaging now in minor calibrated ‘proportionate’ responses, as Biden called his retaliation, Iran sees a return to the pre-Soleimani strike dynamics where its militia proxies operated with impunity, fearing only limited pinprick counter attacks by the United States.
This shadow appeasement will only undermine and eliminate any strategic gains made by Trump’s decisive move last year and encourage more Iranian-backed attacks, as well as greater Iranian intransigence overall when engaging Team Biden.