“There has been a question in the air for days, and today the answer has come,” said Middle East correspondent Daisy Mohr. It sums up how the Middle East is reacting to the first American military attack since President Biden took office.
Last night the United States led air raids targeting targets in eastern Syria held by pro-Iran militias. Local sources in the Syrian-Iraqi border area report at least 17 dead.
It was in retaliation for a deadly missile strike against a military base in Irbil, northern Iraq, on February 15. This attack was then claimed by a pro-Iranian militia, one of the two targeted last night. The Irbil attack was followed by attacks on a US base near Baghdad and on the Green Zone, the part of the Iraqi capital where the US and foreign embassies are located.
“The Middle East has been in the testing phase for a few weeks,” said Daisy Mohr. “Every group in the region wanted to know how much leeway they would have now that Biden was in power. Will he indeed react any differently from Trump? A response from the Americans took a long time, was the sentiment in that region. .. “
That’s not to say people are now cheering for another US bombing, Mohr added. But some saw the long silence on the American side as a possible sign of weakness. There are fears that Biden will be more flexible with militias that have Iranian backing. He wants to restore ties with Iran and the so-called Iran deal Revive to curb Tehran’s nuclear ambitions.
Who worries take care of Tehran’s rivals like Saudi Arabia and much of the Sunni world in other Arab countries, says Mohr. “The lack of a US military response to the bombing led to many comments. There were concerns that Biden’s rush to negotiate a deal with Iran would let the militias get away with it. But this is a clear signal of Biden. “
Some Arab commentators therefore respond positively to the news, as we can see on Twitter.