May 29, 2023

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US Parks Carrier Group Off Syria’s Coast as Iran Vows Revenge Over Killings of IRGC Advisors

Washington has deployed the George H.W. Bush Carrier Strike Group closer to Syria’s Mediterranean coast in the wake of attacks on illegal US bases, and a dramatic ramping up of US and Israeli strikes in the war-torn country.The Pentagon moved to extend the deployment of the carrier group in the Mediterranean last week, citing the need to provide policymakers with more “options” following attacks on US forces.The carrier deployment comes amid a dramatic escalation of tensions seen in recent weeks between Syria and Iran on one side and the US and Israel on the other related to Washington’s ongoing occupation of the Syrian Arab Republic.In late March, the US conducted large-scale airstrikes against ‘Iran-affiliated’ targets in Deir ez-Zor, Syria after a drone attack against an American base in the occupied eastern third of Syria killed a US merc and injured five troops. Washington said the strikes hit military targets, but sources on the ground told Iranian media that they struck a rural development center and grain facility in a neighborhood near Deir ez-Zor’s military airport. No Iranian nationals were killed. The US strikes failed to curb the violence, with US bases situated on top of large Syrian oil and gas fields hit the same week, leaving a US soldier with traumatic brain injuries. An Iraqi militia claimed responsibility for the initial drone attack, saying the operation was a response to the US’s “brutal and terrorist crimes” in Iraq and across the Middle East.US attacks on Syria were followed up by a series of Israeli airstrikes over the past week, which killed two IRGC military advisors – Milad Heidari and Meqdad Mehqani, in the Damascus suburbs. Iran had a massive funeral for the soldiers on Tuesday in Tehran attended by IRGC Chief Hossein Salami, Quds Force Commander Esmail Qa’ani, other officials, and tens of thousands of mourners. Some mourners carried large, red ‘flags of revenge’ similar to the kind hoisted over a key mosque in early 2020 following the US assassination of IRGC Quds Force commander Qasem Soleimani, which culminated in Iranian ballistic missile strikes on American bases in Iraq.Iranian government spokesman Ali Bahadori Jahromi vowed revenge for the IRGC troopers’ killings, and vowed that Tehran would never allow “terrorist acts” to “go unanswered.” On Tuesday, Iranian Vice President Mohammad Mokhber suggested that Israel’s Syria strikes were an indication of the “internal collapse” of the Israeli “usurping regime.”The escalating tensions over Syria come as Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu faces massive pressure at home from ordinary Israelis and the military over controversial judicial reforms, which he has now promised to put on pause. The US is facing its own domestic problems, including politically charged plans to prosecute former president Donald Trump over alleged accounting hiccups over hush money payments to a porn star (Trump has denied wrongdoing).They tensions also come in the face of rising hopes for peace in Syria and the region amid joint Russian-Syrian-Iranian-Turkish negotiations in Moscow this week, Russia-brokered normalization of relations talks between Syria and Saudi Arabia, and a China-brokered normalization deal between Tehran and Riyadh last month.Original News :

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