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Biden Squanders U.S. Credibility: Tensions with Houthis, Iran Surge

pro iran protest with various flags

Supporters of pro-Iran factions wave various flags in Baghdad's Tahrir square, during a protest against U.S. and British forces strikes targeting Yemen's Houthis, and against the presence of the U.S. in Iraq. Strikes targeted Yemen's Houthis security sources and U.S. military said, after the Iran-backed rebels warned of further attacks on Red Sea shipping. (Murtaja Lateff/AFP via Getty Images)

Fred Fleitz By Wednesday, 17 January 2024 09:38 AM EST Current | Bio | Archive

Why Tensions with the Houthis and Iran have Soared After the U.S. Airstrike

Biden officials were quick to claim last weekend that U.S./UK airstrikes against Yemen’s Iranian-backed Houthi rebels would put an end to months of Houthi missile and drone attacks against Red Sea shipping.

Additonally, President Biden said he sent a tough private message to Iran after the airstrikes and, as a result, Biden claimed "they [Iran] know not to do anything."

However, a string of Houthi and Iranian attacks over the past three days indicate that the Biden administration was wrong in believing the airstrikes would deter the Houthis or Iran.

But more importantly, the surge in Iranian and Houthi hostilities after the airstrikes reflects a significant loss of American credibility as a great power under President Biden’s leadership.

Biden officials told the press that U.S. and UK airstrikes on Jan. 12 did substantial damage to the Houthi drone and missile arsenals by striking radar systems, drone storage and launch sites, missile storage and launch facilities, and command and control nodes.

The U.S. attacked another site in Yemen on Jan. 13 with Tomahawk cruise missiles.

However, the airstrikes did not significantly damage the Houthi missile and drone arsenal. According to The New York Times, these attacks destroyed or damaged only about 20 to 30% of the Houthi offensive capability because many Houthi drones and missiles are mobile and can be easily moved or hidden.

As a result, the Houthis continued their attacks and announced on Jan. 15 they would expand their targets to include U.S. ships.

The Houthis consequently fired a cruise missile against a U.S. Navy ship on January 14 that was intercepted. A Houthi anti-ship ballistic missile struck a U.S.-owned container ship on Jan. 15, causing a small fire and minor damage.

Iran also was defiant after the U.S./UK airstrikes. Last weekend, Iranian officials condemned the airstrikes as arbitrary attacks that violated international law which revealed "the true aggressive nature of the United States."

On Tuesday, Iran escalated tensions further when it fired missiles at targets in Iraq and Syria. The Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) claimed to fire missiles at a supposed Israeli spy base in Erbil, Iraq. However, these missiles may also have targeted the U.S. consulate in Erbil.

Iran also fired missiles at ISIS targets in Syria on Jan. 15 and in Pakistan the following day.

Early Tuesday, three Iranian attack drones flying over the Erbil airport were shot down by Kurdish counterterrorism forces. These drones were a threat to U.S. and international forces who are stationed at the Erbil airport.

Also on Tuesday, the U.S. responded to the continuing Houthi attacks with a third set of airstrikes that destroyed four anti-ship missiles at a missile facility in Yemen.

So why are the Houthis continuing their attacks after the U.S./UK airstrikes?

Why did Iran step up hostilities after the U.S. military response to the Houthi missile attacks and President Biden’s private warning to Tehran?

It all comes down to how American credibility has suffered under Joe Biden’s presidency.

Due to a weak and frivolous foreign policy that made climate change the number one U.S. national security threat, a string of foreign policy failures, and a weak response to the aftermath of the Oct. 7, 2023 Hamas terrorist attack on Israel, President Biden has squandered American credibility on the global stage.

As a result, Iran and its proxies  including the Houthis  are expanding their provocations against the U.S. and its Mideast allies because they have no fear of any real consequences from the United States.

This increase in tensions is an indication that Iran and other U.S. adversaries have no respect for Joe Biden.

This situation may have broader implications for global security in 2024.

Rising tensions in the Mideast may be the beginning of a very dangerous set of events as American adversaries globally race to cash in on what they believe could be the final year of the weakest American president in history before he is possibly replaced by a much stronger and more decisive president in January 2025.

Fred Fleitz is Vice Chair of the America First Policy Institute’s Center for American Security and a Newsmax TV Contributor. He previously served as National Security Council Chief of staff, CIA analyst, and as a member of the House Intelligence Committee staff. Read more reports from Fred Fleitz — Click Here Now.

© 2024 Newsmax. All rights reserved.

Rising tensions in the Mideast may be the beginning of a very dangerous set of events as American adversaries globally race to cash in on what they believe could be the final year of the weakest American president in history. before he is possibly replaced by a much more decisive president.
irgc, isis, yemen
Wednesday, 17 January 2024 09:38 AM
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