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The new leadership of the United States is attempting to position itself as the strongman in the Middle East. Or at least make it appear so.
Following the Biden Administration’s first strike on pro-Iranian groups on or near the Syrian-Iraq border, it showed that it can bite. What was left is to show that nothing can hurt it. In recent months, its bases have been under rocket fire. Its convoys have been targeted by IED attacks numerous times. None of these, however, resulted in any significant injuries or deaths.
As such, Washington needs to look further back and one thing stands out – it happened more than a year ago.
The time has come to correct the blemish that is the Iranian ballistic missile strike on the Ain al-Asad base in Iraq in 2020, which happened in response to the US assassination of Iranian Brigadier General Qassem Soleimani.
The strike took place on January 8th, and initially official reports said that it had caused close to no damage. Then it turned out that helicopters had been almost entirely destroyed, and that buildings had been razed. Finally, in the following weeks and months, dozens of soldiers turned out to have had “traumatic brain injuries”.
What really happened? US TV channel CBS made a special documentary on the strikes and released it on March 1st, 2021. The recollection is based on the Pentagon’s version of events and the timeline that the US Defense officials have provided.
On January 8th, hours before the strike all the soldiers knew it was coming and hid to safety. The flights of the Iranian missiles were all tracked by US Central Command. More than 50 aviation units and 1,000 people were evacuated. 16 missiles were launched from 3 different locations, five of which missed. A video was released, taken by an UAV, showing that the base “didn’t receive any significant damage”. All the grainy footage showed was finding an excuse and attempting to change the facts one year later.
The United States is attempting to present it in a way that shows its one strike along the Syrian-Iraqi border as a significant one, while downplaying the most notable strike on its own positions in the last year.
The Biden administration wants to present itself as the strong man, and promises to send more troops to the region. Trump’s troop withdrawal and limited military involvement approaches have been abandoned.
In reality, its convoys are under constant fire in Iraq and its positions are regularly targeted. And they are targeted in such a precise manner, that no human life is taken, except a few exceptions.
Who, exactly is Biden trying to impress?