With the announcement of Saudi Arabia, on Tuesday that two oil pumping stations were hit by two booby trapped drones in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, and the adoption of the Huthis attacks, the Gulf region has become a scene of messages, in the context of Iranian-American tension, especially that sabotage operations occurred two days ago in ships in an Emirati port.
On Tuesday, Ansar Allah al-Houthi group threatened to launch more extensive and larger operations deep into Saudi Arabia after today’s attacks on Saudi oil installations, which the group described as the largest and most important military operation since the war in Yemen nearly four years ago. Houthi military spokesman , Brigadier Yahya Saree, stressed group’s readiness to launch other operations in the event of continued “aggression” on Yemen, in reference to the continuation of the operations of the Saudi-UAE alliance. Saree added in a statement published via Al-Masir Satellite channel, the group’s spokesman said: The group’s air force carried out attacks via seven drones on vital installations of the enemy in the provinces of Dodamy and Afif in Riyadh area. Saree pointed out, “that this process comes in response to what he described as” crimes committed “against the Yemeni people and the ongoing siege imposed by the” States of aggression. ”
Given the gravity of the security and military developments in the Arabian Gulf, the tone of US warnings of possible Iranian attacks on its military presence in Iraq has escalated, while Britain has confirmed that the level of threat posed by the pro-Iranian militias to Western forces has not escalated, signaling a split between the United States and its partners in the International Alliance on the Iranian Threat.
BAGHDAD (Reuters) – The US military reiterated on Tuesday its fears of imminent threats to US forces in Iraq by Iranian-backed forces, days after Washington warned its citizens against traveling to Iraq because of what it described as escalated tensions there, adding that his forces were on high alert . This comes at a time when a British commander in the US-led coalition to fight remnants of the Islamic state organization in Syria and Iraq said, there is no increase in the threat posed by armed factions supported by Iran.
The comments by British Major General Chris Jekke appear to be in contrast to heavy warnings from Washington, where officials say they see a growing threat from Iran. Following statements made by JICA, the deputy commander of coalition forces for strategic planning and information, the US Central Command presented an explanatory statement. “The recent comments by the deputy commander of the alliance contradict the specific credible threats available in the intelligence services of the United States and allies regarding Iranian-backed forces in area,” said US Army Central Command spokesman Captain Bill Urban. Clunk “.
He added that the alliance – which also operates in Syria – has increased the “level of the status of its forces,” a term that is usually used to indicate the level of readiness that aims to protect troops .Orban explained : (” Operation Inherent Resolve “) is at the highest level of preparedness now while we are closely monitor any true or potential threats to US forces in Iraq.” He referred to the coalition operation against the fighters of the terrorist organization ISIS, when he referred to the Operation Inherent Resolve.
This comes against the backdrop of tensions between Iran and the United States, which pushed military reinforcements to the Gulf region in response to Tehran’s threat to close the Strait of Hormuz, through which 40% of the world oil supplies are passing because of the tightening of US sanctions on the Islamic Republic when Washington canceled exemptions for the purchase of Iranian oil at the beginning of the current month.
Two days ago, Washington warned its citizens not to travel to Iraq because of what it described as escalating tensions there, urging its citizens inside Iraq to exercise caution and avoid public gatherings.
Former State Department official Jeff Stacey said the reason for the warning to the people was that Washington is aware of the dangers that its citizens might face if a war against Iran, which has a strong influence in Iraq, breaks out.
On the other hand, the US State Department ordered its non-essential staff in its embassy in Baghdad and consulate in Erbil to leave Iraq. The ministry announced in a statement published on Wednesday on the site of the US Embassy in Iraq, the suspension of regular visa services at the diplomatic headquarters temporarily, and to reduce the emergency services provided to US citizens in Iraq. It has pointed out that “The US government has limited capacity to provide emergency services to its citizens in Iraq.” The statement urged US citizens to leave Iraq “through commercial transport as soon as possible.”On Sunday, the Washington embassy in Baghdad warned its citizens against rising tensions in Iraq. The embassy asked Americans not to travel to Iraq and called on its citizens there to be vigilant and avoid places attended by Americans.
Meanwhile, the United States sent an aircraft carrier, B-52 bombers and Patriot missiles to the Middle East in the face of what US officials said was a threat to US forces and interests in the region. Iraqi Prime Minister Adel Abdul Mahdi stressed that his country would not be a launching pad for attacks on others, in reference to the escalating tension between the United States and Iran.
The Iraqi prime minister said in a press conference: “The security situation in Iraq is stable, and we explained this to the American side and we will review the information we have. We have not recorded serious movements that pose a threat to anyone. The government is concerned with protection of all who are on the land of Iraq and that Iraq will not be a place for aggression against any one . He added “We have emergency plans if there is a serious escalation between the United States and Iran, and we are discussing with the two parties and helping not to slip or to be pushed into a dangerous slide because everyone will pay a great price, and we are making great efforts to calm the situation , and there are indications from both sides that things will end well ” . Iraqi Prime Minister’s remarks come after a visit by US Secretary of State to Baghdad, who confirmed that he received assurances from the Iraqi side on the protection of US forces in Iraq.
Iraqi Studies Unit
Rawabet Center for Research and Strategic Studies