December 31, 2019 | The Hill

Tehran is trying Trump’s patience in Iraq

December 31, 2019 | The Hill

Tehran is trying Trump’s patience in Iraq

Excerpt

After six-months of calibrated escalation on land and at sea by Iran and Iran-backed groups, Tehran’s foreign-legion has lurched across a U.S. red line: One American citizen — a contractor — was killed last week at a base in northern Iraq that was barraged by rocket-fire from a pro-Iran militia.

In response, the U.S. conducted what appears to be its first simultaneous airstrike in both Iraq and Syria against Kata’ib Hezbollah — the Iran-backed Shiite militia responsible for the recent rocket attack. The strike — against five different targets — also marked the first time the Trump administration used military force in response to Iranian belligerence since Tehran opted for a more confrontational posture in May 2019.

But will it be the last time?

Behnam Ben Taleblu is a senior fellow at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies (@FDD), where he focuses on Iranian political and security issues. He frequently briefs Washington audiences on a host of Iran-related issues and has testified before the U.S. Congress and Canadian Parliament.

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Issues:

Hezbollah Iran Iran Global Threat Network Iran-backed Terrorism Military and Political Power U.S. Defense Policy and Strategy