Airstrikes in Syria: Biden's warning to Iran

Joe Biden has described last Friday's airstrikes against pro-Iranian militias in Syria as retaliation for rocket attacks against US bases and those of its allies in Iraq. But commentators believe there are other factors behind the new US president's first military strike.

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Dnevnik (SI) /

US not just relying on negotiations

US President Joe Biden is sending a clear message with the airstrikes against the pro-Iranian militia in Syria, Dnevnik comments:

“The new president has expressed his willingness to revive the nuclear deal which he put together with his foreign policy team during his time as vice president. The attack on Syria represents Biden's message to Iran. With it he lets it be known that his willingness to revive the agreement has limits - in terms of scope and probably also time. He is also showing that he is aware of the limitations of the agreement, which does not include Iranian military activities in the region - or its missile program.”

Der Standard (AT) /

Attacks won't be tolerated

Der Standard also sees a clear message to Iran:

“On Friday night the new president for the first time launched an airstrike on Iraqi militias allied with Iran: in Syria, just across the Iraqi border, so as to avoid putting Iraqi Prime Minister Mustafa al-Kadhimi - the first Arab head of government with whom Biden spoke on the phone - in hot water as a result of pressure from Iran. ... The message to Tehran is clear: we don't want an escalation but Biden will respond to attacks on US personnel in Iraq and elsewhere. ... Biden is ready to rethink American policy on Iran.”

Deutsche Welle (DE) /

Tehran's expansion meets with resistance

This was more than just a retaliation for the Shiite militias' attack, explains Deutsche Welle:

“According to the subliminal message, the US attacks are directed against Iranian machinations in the region in general, which not least put pressure on a close US ally in the region, Iraq. Iran has long exerted influence on Iraqi politics through several pro-Iranian groups. ... At the same time, Iran tried to use the violence in Syria to bring its forces as close as possible to the border with Israel. ... Iran, which is also an unjust state in domestic politics, no longer has any friends in the region. This is driving it to be more and more aggressive. The military strike by the US now comes as a reminder to the state leadership that if needs be it must reckon with resistance.”

NV (UA) /

Confrontation will also affect Europe

Now another escalation in US-Iranian relations is looming, columnist Ivan Yakovyna warns in NV:

“Iran's supreme leader, Grand Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, said his country was planning to increase the enrichment of uranium from the current 20 percent (used in radiation medicine) to 60 percent. ... If the Iranians manage to build a nuclear bomb, the US and Israel will almost certainly start a war against Iran, as neither can afford to have such a great danger as a theocratic Islamic regime with nuclear weapons. Such a war would be a very dreadful event - remember 2015, when a million refugees came to Europe?”