Trump, Iranian Leaders, Threaten War As Tensions Mount In Iraq
“…We are not afraid of any war and we tell America to speak correctly with the Iranian nation. We have the power to break them several times over and are not worried,”
The United States and Iran appear to be on a collision course towards an all-out armed conflict in the Middle East as tensions mount.
Attack And Counterattack
The latest escalation in the conflict between the two nations began on Friday when pro-Iran militia Kata’ib Hezbollah launched at attack on a US base near Kirkuk, Iraq, known as K1.
The attack took the life of a U.S contractor and wounded U.S. military on the base, the United States has claimed.
The United States military then responded to the attack by striking back at the militia in an attack that killed 25 of its fighters, the militia said.
This caused a heavy protest in Iraq at the U.S. embassy, the largest in the world, having more square footage than all of Vatican City.
Protesters breached the walls of the compound, getting to the Compound Access Control facility and starting fires.
The demonstrators launched Molotov cocktails into the facility as its Ambassadors and staff huddled in safe rooms.
President Donald Trump sent Marines and Apache helicopters to assist Iraqi forces in protecting the embassy, very aware of the Benghazi attack and not wanting one on his watch.
His response drew praise from one of his staunchest allies, South Carolina Sen. Lindsey Graham.
“Very proud of President @realDonaldTrump acting decisively in the face of threats to our embassy in Baghdad. He has put the world on notice – there will be no Benghazis on his watch,” he said on Twitter.
“To the Iranian government: Be careful what you wish for — a country that depends on the ability to refine oil for its existence needs to be cautious.
“President Trump, unlike President Obama, will hold you accountable for threats against Americans and hit you where it hurts the most. Choose your battles wisely.
“To our Iraqi allies: This is your moment to convince the American people the US-Iraq relationship is meaningful to you and worth protecting. Protect our American personnel. You will not regret it,” he said.
But Democrats saw the embassy protests as an indictment of the president’s Middle East policies.
Trump’s reckless decisions to walk away from the Iran Deal and now to launch airstrikes in Iraq without Iraqi government consent have brought us closer to war,” Sen Elizabeth Warren said.
Moving Towards War
The rhetoric from President Trump and Iranian leaders after the attacks and embassy protests are increasing in intensity as both are sabre rattling.
“Iran will be held fully responsible for lives lost, or damage incurred, at any of our facilities,” the president said on Twitter. “They will pay a very BIG PRICE! This is not a Warning, it is a Threat.”
Iran’s Revolutionary Guards Commander Brigadier General Hossein Salami said his nation does not want war but will not back away from a fight.
“We are not leading the country to war, but we are not afraid of any war and we tell America to speak correctly with the Iranian nation. We have the power to break them several times over and are not worried,” he said, Reuters reported.
His words were an echo of Iran’s Army chief Major General Abdolrahim Mousavi who said that his troops were ready for a fight.
“Our armed forces … monitor all moves, and if anyone makes the slightest mistake, they will decisively react, and if the situation heats up, we will show our abilities to the enemy,” he said.