Even as indirect negotiations proceed over bringing both countries back into compliance with the terms of the 2015 nuclear deal, American and Iranian officials fired angry broadsides at each other, blaming the opposite side for a lack of progress. And then there’s the actual shooting war.
On Sunday night, the Biden administration announced that U.S. airstrikes had targeted facilities on either side of the Iraq-Syria border linked to militias that have Iranian ties. U.S. officials said that the strikes were reprisals for an uptick in drone attacks targeting U.S. personnel in the region. Kataib Sayyid al-Shuhada, one of the Iranian-backed factions hit by the United States, confirmed four of its fighters had been killed in the strike.
On Monday evening, the violence continued. U.S. officials confirmed that multiple rockets had targeted a facility housing U.S. troops near al-Omar oil field in northeast Syria, and that the United States had responded with artillery fire targeted at positions where the rockets were launched.
The current round of fighting is part of a long-simmering phase of hostilities between U.S. forces and proxies linked to Tehran. Some lawmakers in Washington are starting to question the sustained presence of American troops in Syria and Iraq, as well as the United States’ right to carry out airstrikes on positions within these countries.