When Barack Obama allowed capture of U.S. sailors by the Iranian navy last year to go unchallenged, that was not handling the situation by “diplomacy and negotiation” as Obama and his team attempted to claim after they were released. That was cowardice and weakness being shown to a declared enemy, and this week we see the ugly fruit it has borne. A new, two-front conflict has opened up for the United States with both Russia and Iran, and the Obama team has absolutely no answer for the growing military crisis.
US-Russia relations have deteriorated sharply amid a barrage of accusations and disagreements, raising the stakes on issues ranging from the countries’ competing military operations in Syria, disputes over Eastern European independence and escalating cyber breaches. “This is a conflict, there should be no doubt,” said Matthew Rojansky, director of the Kennan Institute at the Wilson Center, on the US-Russia confrontation.
The friction between Moscow and Washington — by many assessments at its highest level since the fall of the Berlin Wall — led Mikhail Gorbachev, the last leader of the Soviet Union, to make a plea Monday for dialogue and de-escalation. “I think the world has reached a dangerous point,” Gorbachev warned, according to Agence France Presse.
Iran sent two warships to the Gulf of Aden on Thursday, the semi-official Tasnim news agency reported, establishing a military presence in waters off Yemen where the U.S. military launched cruise missile strikes on areas controlled by Iran-backed Houthi forces.
“Iran’s Alvand and Bushehr warships have been dispatched to the Gulf of Aden to protect trade vessels,” Tasnim reported.
The U.S. military launched cruise missile strikes on Thursday to knock out three coastal radar sites in areas of Yemen controlled by Iran-aligned Houthi forces, retaliating after failed missile attacks this week on a U.S. Navy destroyer, U.S. officials said.
The strikes, authorized by President Barack Obama, represent Washington’s first direct military action against suspected Houthi-controlled targets in Yemen’s conflict. Still, the Pentagon appeared to stress the limited nature of the strikes, aimed at radar that enabled the launch of at least three missiles against the U.S. Navy ship USS Mason on Sunday and Wednesday.
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