The U.S. airstrikes Thursday night against targets in eastern Syria escalate Washington’s conflicts in the Middle East, adding more instability to a disastrous situation in Syria and creating new obstacles to the possibility of reducing tension with Iran and returning to the nuclear deal. If this is what President Biden’s claim that “America is back” continues to look like, his promises to put diplomacy before war will show themselves hollow indeed.

The airstrikes were ostensibly in response to attacks in mid-February on Iraqi military sites housing U.S. military forces. One U.S. contractor was killed and several U.S. and coalition troops were injured. As of 48 hours before the U.S. bombing, Pentagon officials were still admitting they didn’t know who had carried out the attack on the Iraqi base, though after the airstrikes U.S. Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin said that “we’re confident that that target was being used by the same Shia militants that conducted the strikes.”

Read the full article at Common Dreams.

Phyllis Bennis directs the New Internationalism Project at the Institute for Policy Studies. Follow her on Twitter @PhyllisBennis. Khury Petersen-Smith is the Middle East Fellow at the Institute for Policy Studies. Follow him on Twitter @kpYES.

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