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Analysis | Iran Launches Missile Attack On US Bases- Why This May Be Good News For The World

While At First Glance Iran's Attacks Seem Like A Massive Escalation In The Already Tense Situation, They May Also Turn Out To Be A Potential Way Out Of The Crisis.

By : Pawas Kumar | Updated on: 08 Jan 2020, 07:57:01 PM
Iran's strikes on US bases might be an opportunity for both sides to de-escalate without losing face

Iran's strikes on US bases might be an opportunity for both sides to de-escalate without losing face (Photo Credit: Composite Image )

New Delhi:

Iran launched at least two waves of short-range missile attacks on bases in Iraq hosting US and coalition personnel on Wednesday morning as part of its promised revenge for the death of Qasem Soleimani. While at first glance these attacks seem like a massive escalation in the already tense situation, they may also turn out to be a potential way out of the current US-Iran crisis.

While Iranian state television has claimed that 80 "American terrorists" were killed in attacks, the United States' reaction so far seems to indicate lack of any casualties. Iran's supreme leader Ali Khamenei described the attacks as a "slap in the face" of the United States but did not mention any number. On the other hand, US President Donald Trump tweeted 'All is well'.

If Trump's tweet is true in the assessment of the damage done by the Iranian missiles, it means the Iranian strikes were more about symbolism then inflicting any real damage. The attacks took place at 1.30 am- almost the same time when Soleimani was targeted by the US airstrike. It is also no coincidence that Soleimani was being laid to rest in Kerman as the missiles landed on their intended targets.

During the attacks, top Iranian advisers tweeted pictures of the country’s flag, a clear response to Donald Trump tweeting the US flag after the killing of Soleimani. The attack was named operation "Martyr Suleimani" and videos of attack were soon released to media outlets.

However, despite all the show and bravado, these attacks seemed to have been carried out in a manner to avoid any significant casualties. First, the attacks targetted US and coalition forces' base which were already ready for any such escalation and thus unlikely to receive much damage. Secondly, the message sent out by Iran after the attack was very interesting- it described these attacks as an act of self-defence and asked the US not to retaliate to them. The message seemed to have an implicit meaning - don't attack us now and we may avoid a war.

These strikes might be an opportunity for both sides to de-escalate without losing face. With Iran already claiming multiple US casualties, it may be able to tell its citizens that it delivered a 'slap in the face' to 'The Great Satan'. This will ease the pressure on it to stage any more big attacks and return to waging its proxy war against the US and Israel in the region.

The United States, on the other hand, will also have a chance to take a step back and avoid any retaliation. As the situation stands, the US may project itself as the winner of the current skirmish having got rid of one of its biggest rivals in the region and avoided an all-out war with a dangerous enemy.

Of course, this would not mean an end of tensions or hostilities. Iran is expected to continue to target the US via its numerous proxies in the region, while the US will continue to exert its influence. However, it will be certainly a more favourable outcome than an open war or conflict between the two sides. This will also mean that the coalition forces in Iraq will be able to re-focus on combating the ISIS menace. Overall, it will be better news for the world than what was feared a day or two ago.

However, all this depends on two big ifs: the US resisting any urge to escalate the tensions and Iran willing to end its supposed 'revenge' mission for now.

Disclaimer: The opinions and facts expressed within this article are the personal opinions of the author. They do not reflect the views of News Nation. The NNPL does not assume any responsibility or liability for the same.

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First Published : 08 Jan 2020, 06:59:23 PM

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