A day before the administration announced its decision on Saudi Arabia, Biden gave the first major indication from his presidency that he would be ready to use military force in the Middle East if he saw fit. He ordered retaliatory airstrikes against Iranian-backed fighters in Syria, showing his willingness to maintain a military presence in the Middle East as Iran continues to support an anti-US militia network in the region.
In response to the strikes – which reportedly killed at least one fighter from the Kataib Hezbollah militia, an Iran-backed group that is also part of the Iraqi government official security forces – Iran has declined a third party invitation to join the United States in diplomatic negotiations.
During the election campaign, Biden pledged to reinstate the Iran nuclear deal signed by his former boss, President Barack Obama, and he underscored his record as opponent of Obama’s intervention in Libya and the influx of troops into Afghanistan. (Biden also objected to the risky mission that took Osama bin Laden away, though he was less quick to brag about it.)
When he came to power, one of Biden’s first steps was to announce that he would end “all US support for offensive operations in the Yemen war, including relevant arms sales.” This was widely seen as a preventative measure, given that Congress was likely to reintroduce a bill that Trump had vetoed the suppression of arms sales to support the war by …
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