THE NEUTRAL ZONE
According to U.S. Central Command, the display of military presence in the region was to “underscore the U.S. military’s commitment to regional security and demonstrate a unique ability to rapidly deploy overwhelming combat power on short notice.”
“We do not seek conflict, but no one should underestimate our ability to defend our forces or to act decisively in response to any attack,” stated U.S. Central Command Chief Gen. Kenneth “Frank” McKenzie.
Iran is suspected of bombing the U.S. embassy in Baghdad last week, in which 21 missiles were fired and at least one Iraqi civilian was killed. There are also fears that Iran may seek to retaliate against U.S. interests to mark the one-year anniversary of the drone strike that killed Gen. Qasem Soleimani, Iran’s second most powerful figure at the time.
President Donald Trump accused Iran of the attack via Twitter, stating, “Some friendly health advice to Iran: If one American is killed, I will hold Iran responsible. Think it over.” Secretary of State Mike Pompeo echoed the president’s claim, releasing a statement blaming “Iran-backed militias” for the attack on the embassy despite Centcom’s Gen. McKenzie’s insistence that it remains unclear if Iran was responsible for the attack.
Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif tweeted in response to Trump’s accusation of Iranian involvement, stating the President’s claims were “reckless” and that “Trump will bear full responsibility for any adventurism on his way out.”
These recent events are a part of a long-standing trend in Iraq in which the U.S. links bombing attacks to Iranian-backed militias while Iran denies the claims of involvement.
This section includes an aggregation of articles showing different viewpoints on the topic.
The Most Dangerous People on the Internet in 2020 – Wired – 12/30/2020
After gaining access to US voter registration data, hackers working for Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps sent a blast of emails to Florida voters, impersonating the alt-right Proud Boys group and threatening anyone who didn’t vote for Trump, according to the Office of the Director of National Intelligence
What America Has Learned From Iranian Social Media – Bloomberg – 12/30/2020
The State Department had generally used its Farsi social media accounts as a broadcast platform — a way to reinforce what it was already saying. The department’s new approach treated social media as a channel to learn what Iranians thought about both their own regime and U.S. policy.
B-52s fly over Persian Gulf as ‘complex attacks’ from Iran feared, US ready to thwart – Fox News – 12/30/2020
In a statement, U.S. Central Command said the bombers launched from Minot Air Force Base in North Dakota on Tuesday morning, marking the third time in the past 45 days U.S. Air Force bombers have flown deterrence missions over the Persian Gulf under fighter escort. The bombers flew through without incident, and Iran had not reacted publicly as of Wednesday morning.
This section includes an aggregation of tweets showing different viewpoints on the topic.