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U.S./Israeli Air Strikes Hit Syria, ISIS Escalates Violence in Iraq

March 1, 2021 (EIRNS)—The pattern of U.S./Israeli attacks on Syria allegedly aimed at Iran, and a series of ISIS attacks in Iraq, point to an increasingly precarious situation in both countries. Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov last week referred to information that Russia has been receiving from various sources that America is in the process of making a decision never to leave Syria and even break the country up. At the same time, Iraq has seen an escalation of violence perpetrated by the Islamic State, particularly in the region along the frontier between the Kurdish administered region and that under the jurisdiction of the government in Baghdad. ISIS bragged last week that it had conducted 15 operations over Feb. 18-25 including several attacks on the Popular Mobilization Forces (PMF), including an attack on Feb. 2 which killed 5 PMF members and another on Feb. 4 which killed 11, the Kurdish news service Rudaw reported yesterday.

Following the Feb. 25 U.S. air strike in Syria near the border with Iraq, another air strike, presumably launched from Israel, hit targets near Damascus on the evening of Feb. 28. Israel usually doesn’t take credit for its strikes in Syria, but the latest one came only hours after Israeli Defense Forces Chief of Staff Lt. Gen. Aviv Kohavi hinted that Israel would be retaliating for what it now believes was an Iranian attack on the Israeli-owned cargo ship MV Helios Ray in the Gulf of Oman on Feb. 25. “Just over the weekend we got a reminder in one of these theaters of one of the greatest threats in the region, Iran, and we got a reminder that Iran not only is a nuclear threat, but that it spreads and carries out terror and operations against civilian targets,” Kohavi said, according to the Times of Israel. “This is the place to reiterate that the IDF acts and will act against the threats that endanger [Israel], near and far.”

So it seems that for both the United States and Israel, the response to alleged provocations from Iran is to bomb Syria!

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