Admin Authorizes Strikes on Iranian-backed Forces
By Adam Kredo
July 5, 2017
forces have been instructed to take all measures needed to protect American
interests in Syria, including military measures, as part of an effort that
comes after top officials in the Trump administration assessed that Iran is
deliberately probing American weaknesses and reactions on the Syrian
battlefield, according to senior Trump administration officials who spoke to the Washington
forces, including Hezbollah, have already initiated multiple encounters with the
United States by violating agreements worked out between Washington and Moscow
aimed at preventing the various factions targeting ISIS inside Syria from coming
into conflict. This is part of a campaign that analysts inside and outside the
White House believe is aimed at testing the Trump administration's resolve,
was very clearly a process of the Iranians and Hezbollah and [the] Syrian regime
probing and testing our limits, and testing how much we were willing to
do," one senior Trump administration official said. "In every case, it
was a matter of them testing and probing, and us responding by defending
clashes were the result of pro-Syrian regime forces, including Iran and
Hezbollah, "violating a de-confliction measure that had been worked out
with the Russians," the official said. "The forces violated the
Trump administration has instructed U.S. forces to respond to Iranian attacks
with force if necessary.
they found out very quickly," said the official, was "us responding by
defending ourselves. What was established was that we're determined to defend
defensive action is being implemented at the same time the Trump
administration turns its attention to the Iranian Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC),
the Islamic Republic's paramilitary force that coordinates operations in Syria
and other warzones.
administration officials view the IRGC as being part of "every malignant
protrusion of the Iranian regime," according to one administration
official, who said the White House is dually focused on choking off this force.
actions by U.S. forces are part of a broader pushback against Iran, ranging from
battlefield responses to diplomatic action, according to a veteran Iran policy
analyst who has been briefed by the White House both on parts of the Syria
strategy and on parts of an ongoing Iran policy review being conducted by the
Beacon first reported many details of
the review several weeks ago, including actions by the Trump administration to
potentially block the sale of U.S. commercial aircraft to Tehran.
the first time since the U.S. intervened into the Syrian conflict, American
forces have been authorized to do take all measures to defend U.S. interests
against Iranian provocations and aggression," said the source. "This
is part of a concrete strategy that has already been implemented in part, and is
being bolstered every day, but very senior Trump officials. No more of watching
U.S. forces get rolled in Syria, and also no more of thanking Iran after they
seize our sailors in the Gulf.
senior Trump administration official familiar with the Iran policy review said
the White House is currently "in the thick of it," evaluating a range
of options to confront Iran's global terror operations.
review expands far beyond the landmark nuclear deal, according to the
tack we've taken is not to put the [Iran deal] at the center of the
policy," one senior administration official said. "The goals we set
out focus on how to neutralize the threat the Iranian regime poses to the US and
its allies in the region."
official see the nuclear deal as secondary given Iran's continued terrorist
operations and pursuit of illicit arms. This is why the IRGC's activities have
become a source of concern in the White House.
find the IRGC in every malignant protrusion of the Iranian regime," the
senior administration official said. "They're in Yemen, Iraq, Syria,
Hezbollah in Lebanon," and elsewhere.
the U.S. plots its course with Iran, the Islamic Republic continues to invest in
a massive military buildup that many believe has been partially funded by the
economic sanctions relief granted under the former Obama administration.
military officials announced on Monday that the country will soon implement its
own version of Russia's advanced S-300 missile defense system, which Tehran
purchased in a controversial arms deal opposed by many Western nations.
work efforts are being made on Bavar 373 missile system and a number of tests
have been carried out on this system, and these tests will continue until the
date of delivery," according to
Iranian military officials, who predicted the system would be perfected by March
of next year.