The Pentagon says at least 46 American troops have been injured in Iraq and Syria in attacks by Iranian-backed militia during the past one month.

This number is significantly higher than the last official figure (around 20), announced a fortnight ago.

Since the Hamas terror attack on Israel and the ensuing conflict a month ago, the US government has repeatedly warned Iran and its proxies against attacking American forces in the region. The figures released Monday seem to show, however, that the attackers remain unfazed.

If anything, the war seems to have widened in the last week or two.

Shiite militias in Iraq and Syria, armed groups backed, and often guided by the Islamic Republic are targeting US troops stationed in those countries almost daily.

On Monday, one of the Iraqi armed groups used the Iranian-designed Fateh-110 ballistic missile for the first time against a US base. Hezbollah is believed to have this missile too.

A month has passed since Hamas forces attacked border regions of Israel, killing at least 1,400, mostly civilians, and taking at least 200 hostage. In response, Israel has been bombarding Hamas targets in Gaza and has sent in its army into the enclave to find and destroy Hamas fighters. Hamas officials in Gaza say ten thousand have been killed, but there is no independently verified figure on casualties. At least 1.5 million people have also been displaced, according to the United Nations.

UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres on Monday repeated his call for an “immediate humanitarian cease-fire” and a halt to the “spiral of escalation” across the region.

Speaking to reporters on the sidelines of a Security Council meeting, Guterres said international humanitarian law is clearly being violated in Gaza. “No party to an armed conflict” is above international law, he said, also demanding the unconditional release of hostages taken by Hamas on 7 October.

Israel insists it is conducting military operation based on the internationally recognized principle of self defense and is doing its utmost to only hit military targets.

The UN Security Council once more failed to agree on a resolution in its Monday meeting, with the US insisting on a ‘pause’ instead of a ‘ceasefire.’

The Biden administration has so far supported Israel unconditionally while the latter tries to “erase” Hamas from Gaza and retake control of the strip. Still, many in Washington blame the administration for having allowed the current crisis, even if inadvertently.

“For nearly 3 years they’ve flooded Iran with close to $100B,” Senator Ted Cruz posted on X. “Iran has used that money to fund terrorist groups such as Hamas and Hezbollah.”

“The Biden Administration’s approach was to put Iran first,” former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said in an interview with Fox News. “We negotiated with the Iranians on the nuclear deal; we stopped enforcing sanctions; we paid a ransom of $6 billion to get back half a dozen hostages – now the Iranians hold even more.”

Pompeo seems to be referring to hostages in Gaza, whose fate is widely believed to be in the hands of the regime in Iran, which holds considerable sway over Hamas.

The Islamic Republic is evidently reluctant to engage in direct war with Israel or the US, despite non-stop rhetoric.

“This is their entire strategy,” Jonathan Schanzer of Foundation for Defense of Democracies said on CNN referring to the regime in Iran. “They are fighting Israel to the last Palestinian, to the last Lebanese, to the last Syrian and to the last Iraqi. They use proxy groups to their advantage so that they can sit safely back in Tehran and watch with delight. ”

Reports emerged Monday that the Biden administration has sent strong messages to Iran and Hezbollah via Turkey that the US will intervene immediately if they attack Israel.

Nonetheless, Iranian officials are maintaining their belligerent and threatening tone.

“What has the US done to the region that its Secretary of State, Blinken, arrived in Baghdad with a bulletproof vest,” asked Iran’s Foreign Ministry spokesman Monday.

Secretary of State Antony Blinken, on a tour of the Middle last, visited Iraq briefly, perhaps to try and push the Iraqi government to rein in armed militias who target American bases in the country.

The ones with meaningful influence over Iraqi militias, however, sit not in Baghdad but in Tehran, who seem to remain unperturbed.

Source » iranintl