Once again, the Middle East is on fire. Although the region has been plagued with conflict for the last couple of decades, a number of concerning issues have arisen. So what's going on?
The Israeli-Palestine Conflict
As most of us know, one of the biggest headlines for the past four months has been the Israel-Palestine war. The conflict started four months ago when Palestinian militant groups attacked, murdered, and kidnapped nearly 400 people during the Nova Music Festival in Israel. The Palestinian militant group, Hamas, denied the occurrence of the massacre. The
police investigation following the massacre concluded that the terrorists did not know of the event beforehand. Investigators searched the bodies of dead militants and found maps leading to other nearby targets, but found no information that specified a direct attack on the festival. This makes matters worse for the Hamas militants, however, because they chose to directly attack civilians without orders to do so. In response to this heinous act, the Israeli government formally declared war on the terrorist group, which has been in charge of the Palestinian government since 2007. This has spiraled into the current war, which we know as the Israeli-Palestine conflict, or Operation Iron Sword.
Attacks on the United States
Unfortunately, this conflict has set off even more extremist groups. Notable groups such as Hezbollah in Lebanon, the Houthis in Yemen, and other Iranian-backed militias in Syria and
Iraq. These groups have been attacking American targets throughout the middle east for years; however, the war in Israel has caused these attacks to skyrocket to the hundreds. The deadliest attack occurred just over a week ago against Tower 22, a United States military base in the northeast corner of Jordan. After months of letting these moves of aggression slide, the US has finally drawn the line here. After the attack on Tower 22, the US launched more than 85 strikes in retaliation against the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC), the organization that attacked us.
John Kirby, the spokesperson for the National Security Council stated that the 85 strikes were “just the first round” of many more to come.
The Global Issue
The conflict doesn’t end here. In Yemen, located south in the middle eastern region, Iranian-backed Houthi rebels have been causing chaos for global shipping routes, mainly those traveling through the Suez Canal. The attacks started in November last year and have been
a huge burden for many shipping companies. The Houthis have mainly stuck to missile strikes against commercial vessels, but they have also boarded and seized a few ships. In response to this, the United States and the United Kingdom have enacted Operation Poseidon Archer in an attempt to quell the Houthis. So far, the operation has been a success, with multiple Houthi anti-ship missiles being destroyed with zero allied casualties.
These events have sparked concern among many around the world. With Iranian threats of war, many fear a much wider conflict will ensue. The US government has stated that they seek zero conflict with Iran. However, President Biden has made clear that “we will not hesitate to defend our people and hold responsible all those who harm Americans, at a time and a place of our choosing.”