Washington, DC – NIAC President Jamal Abdi issued the following statement regarding reports that the U.S. conducted new strikes targeting militia forces in eastern Syria on Sunday, killing at least eight:
“The U.S. may be on the brink of being pulled into an all out regional war in the Middle East and the Biden Administration appears to be going along for the ride rather than taking active steps to prevent it.
“The last several weeks have seen a reckless escalatory cycle between the U.S. and Iran that is ironic given that both governments likely judge that a wider regional escalation is against their interests.
“Iran-linked groups have launched dozens of rockets and drones on U.S. positions in Iraq and Syria, with near misses that could have killed U.S. troops. The U.S. has responded with strikes targeting militia groups in eastern Syria on three separate occasions, including striking directly at militia and potentially Iranian forces yesterday. Predictably, there have already been several retaliatory attacks on U.S. positions since.
“The U.S. and Iran are on an escalation ladder that will only end with full-blown regional war unless diplomatic efforts are undertaken to halt the Israel-Palestine war. Every day of this war that passes with shocking civilian death tolls, increasing regional conflict, and no plausible endpoint, it becomes even more clear that the priority for the U.S. must be a ceasefire. Emotions are charged in the region and reckless decisions on any side could bring about catastrophic consequences.
“The kinetic strikes that the Biden Administration has undertaken against Iran-linked militias have not deterred attacks on U.S. troops for two decades, regardless of who has sat in the Oval Office. Only political solutions, brokered through serious diplomatic undertakings, have succeeded in calming these tensions and reducing attacks. This was the case in the brief period in which the Iran nuclear deal was in place, as well as the short span of an apparent de-escalation agreement between the U.S. and Iran that was upended on October 7.
“Only a ceasefire can stop this crisis from spinning out of control and provide the space for serious diplomacy and leadership to address the central challenges underpinning this war. The alternative increasingly looks like a broader conflict that spills across multiple borders and pulls in the United States. President Biden must act before it is too late.”
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