“The big contradiction to the Biden administration’s approach to the current crisis in the Middle East is that it is an election year in the United States,” Nicholas Heras, senior director of strategy and innovation at the New Lines Institute, told Business Insider. “And the Biden administration is trying to simultaneously demonstrate to the American public that it is tough on Iran but that it is not dragging the US into another war in the Middle East.”
Attacks against US forces continue despite US warnings and military retaliations in Iraq and Syria. In Syria, the US military targeted facilities used by these militias and Iran’s hardline Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps, IRGC, paramilitary. In Iraq, it upped the ante on Jan. 4 by assassinating a leader of the Iran-backed Harakat al-Nujaba group in Baghdad.