Iranian-backed proxies continued attacks on US forces in Iraq and Syria this week, including an attack near Conico in eastern Syria. Iran’s Tasnim News reported the attack, boasting of “explosions” at the US outpost. Iranian media also mentioned a “missile attack on this base” and a drone attack on American forces in Al-Shadadi base in Syria. These reports indicate Iran’s intent to escalate its operations. Iran has been frustrated in its attempts to support Hamas in Gaza and achieve a ceasefire to aid Hamas against Israeli operations.
Iran seeks to maintain Hamas in Gaza and extend its influence in the West Bank. To achieve this, Iran aims to heighten tensions in Syria and Iraq, using the conflict in Gaza to increase attacks on the US. Iran’s broader goal is to compel the US to withdraw from Syria and Iraq, allowing Iran to dominate those countries, Lebanon, and Yemen, and subsequently pose a direct threat to Israel.
Recent attacks on Al-Asad base in Iraq, where US forces are stationed, and the discovery of rocket launchers by the SDF near Shaddadi, have raised concerns. Additionally, there has been almost 80 attacks targeting US forces in Iraq and Syria since the Hamas attack on Israel on October 7. Clearly, Iran and its proxies are working to advance their agenda in the region.