February 1, 2024
From World Socialist Web Site
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The amphibious assault ship USS Bataan, front, and the landing ship USS Carter Hall, back travel through the Red Sea, Tuesday, August 8, 2023. [AP Photo/Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Riley Gasdia/U.S. Navy]

Seizing upon Sunday’s killing of three US troops in an airstrike by Iraqi militia in Jordan, the United States is planning a protracted military offensive throughout the Middle East.

NBC News reported that US officials said that the strikes being planned by the Biden administration would be a “campaign” that would last “weeks.” The strikes will include “Iranian targets outside Iran,” NBC reported.

White House National Security spokesperson John Kirby appeared to confirm NBC’s reporting in a press briefing on Wednesday, declaring that the US response “won’t just be a one-off … the first thing you see will not be the last thing.”

These plans are being made with no effort to inform or gain the consent of the American population, which is broadly opposed to the US military escalation in the Middle East and its support for the genocide in Gaza.

On Monday, Kirby made this reality clear by declaring, “The commander-in-chief is not looking at polling or considering the electoral calendar.”

In response, Major General Hossein Salami, the head of Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps, said that any strikes inside Iran would not “be left unanswered.” He added, “We are not looking for war but are not afraid of war, either.”

On Monday, Pentagon Press Secretary Sabrina Singh was asked in a briefing, “How is this not a regional war now, between the United States and Iranian proxies in Yemen, Iraq, Syria, and now Jordan?”

She replied, “We’re not discounting that tensions are high in the region by any means. Since October 17th (sic), we’ve seen repeated attacks on US forces, so we’re not discounting the fact that tensions are high, that these Iranian-backed groups are targeting our military members with the intention of trying to kill them.”

US National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan met with UK Defense Secretary Grant Shapps on Wednesday to discuss what are expected to be joint strikes throughout the Middle East. The UK’s Telegraph reported that the UK is preparing to send an aircraft carrier into the Red Sea to take part in the operation.

On Wednesday, the US military carried out its latest attack in Yemen, with US F-18 Super Hornets dropping bombs on what the US claimed were drone launch sites.

The deepening US involvement in the war throughout the Middle East comes as Israel, with the support of the United States, is committing ever more brazen war crimes.

On Tuesday, members of the Israeli military, dressed as medical staff, infiltrated the Ibn Sina Hospital in the northern West Bank and executed three people at point-blank range, including one person who was in his hospital bed.

Dr. Naji Nazzal, the director of the hospital, told Reuters that the soldiers “executed the three men as they slept in the room. … They executed them in cold blood by firing bullets directly into their heads in the room where they were being treated.”

This was a flagrant war crime on multiple levels, including the execution of unarmed people and an attack on a hospital facility.

In a statement, the Euro-Med Human Rights Monitor said, “Israeli forces have committed a complex crime in which there are multiple violations of the rules of international humanitarian law. These crimes include storming a protected civilian hospital; committing a crime of treachery by dressing like doctors, nurses, and civilians; carrying out an extrajudicial execution against people who did not pose any danger to anyone, including a seriously injured person, at a time when the perpetrators could have been arrested for the aforementioned crimes; as well as torturing and harassing medical personnel.”

On Wednesday, the bodies of 30 Palestinians were found in a school in northern Gaza. Many were bound and blindfolded, suggesting that they were killed by Israeli forces in a mass summary execution.

In a statement, Hamas said, “The occupation regime’s ongoing crimes against our Palestinian people unfold day after day, the latest of which was documented by the Palestinian Prisoner Society and reported by Palestinian citizens about the executions of about 30 Palestinians, whose bodies were found dumped inside a schoolyard in northern Gaza while being handcuffed and blindfolded.”

The statement continued, “This indicates that the occupation army carried out a massacre against civilians through executing them on-site after brutalizing them.”

Amid deepening starvation in Gaza caused by Israel’s ongoing blockade, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu called for the shutting down of the largest humanitarian agency in Gaza, the UN Palestinian refugee agency (UNRWA).

“It’s time the international community and the UN itself understand that UNRWA’s mission has to end,” Netanyahu said, declaring that the organization must be shut down “if we are going to solve the problem of Gaza as we intend to do.”

Earlier that day, UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said UNRWA was “the backbone of all humanitarian response in Gaza.”

Netanyahu’s comments followed the termination of funding for UNRWA by the US and other imperialist powers, pointing to their complicity in Israel’s mass starvation of the population of Gaza.

In a statement on Wednesday, Human Rights Watch called on the US and other countries to reverse the cutoff of aid to UNRWA, declaring the move “could hasten famine in Gaza.”

“Withholding funds from the UN agency most able to provide immediate lifesaving food, water, and medicine to the more than 2.3 million people of Gaza shows callous indifference to what the world’s leading experts have warned is the looming risk of famine,” said Akshaya Kumar of Human Rights Watch.

On Wednesday, World Health Organization’s Emergencies Director Michael Ryan declared, “This is a population that is starving to death,” adding, “This is a population that is being pushed to the brink, and they are not parties to this conflict.”




Source: Wsws.org