Small Wars Journal

Tehran’s Proxies Strike Again

Sat, 03/14/2020 - 5:05am

Tehran’s Proxies Strike AgainWall Street Journal Editorial

The world doesn’t end because there’s a viral pandemic. In what would have been far bigger news without the virus spread, an Iran-backed militia group on Wednesday launched an attack on a Iraqi training base that left two American troops and one British soldier dead and some 14 wounded.

“You don’t get to shoot at our bases and kill and wound Americans and get away with it,” Defense Secretary Mark Esper said Thursday morning, adding that he had spoken to President Trump about a response.

Later that day the U.S. carried out precision airstrikes against five weapons-storage facilities across Iraq linked to Kata’ib Hizbollah. The Pentagon said the counterattack will “significantly degrade” the Iran-backed Shiite militia’s ability to carry out future attacks against coalition forces.

The timing is important. Prime Minister Adel Abdul-Mahdi resigned in November amid protests, and designated successor Mohammed Tawfiq Allawi withdrew his candidacy for the position earlier this month. The threat of terror persists, and two additional American soldiers died this week in northern Iraq during a mission against remnants of the Islamic State. Iran wants to exploit the instability in Iraq and expand its regional influence…

Read on.