News ID: 126183
Publish Date : 13 April 2024 - 21:42
Persian Gulf States Warn U.S.:

No Launchpad for Any Aggression Against Iran

DUBAI (Dispatches) – Persian Gulf monarchies are urging the U.S. not to use American military bases on their territories to carry out any aggression against Iran, London-based Middle East Eye news website has reported.
The U.S.’s Persian Gulf allies are working overtime to shut down avenues that could link them to any U.S. attack against Tehran or its allies from bases inside their kingdoms, according to a senior U.S. official cited by MEE. 
Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Oman and Kuwait have raised questions about the intricate details of basing agreements that permit tens of thousands of U.S. troops to be stationed across the oil-rich peninsula, it said.
They are also moving to prevent U.S. warplanes from flying over their airspace in the event the U.S. conducts an attack on Iran.
The U.S. has spent decades investing in military bases in the Persian Gulf. Given their close proximity to Iran, those airbases would be the most convenient launching pads for the U.S. against the Islamic Republic, current and former U.S. officials have told MEE, it said. 
The Persian Gulf monarchies’ reluctance is complicating the Biden administration’s potential plans. “It’s a mess,” a senior U.S. official told MEE.
The official, along with two former senior U.S. officials who reportedly spoke with MEE, outlined three scenarios the White House was planning for Iran’s expected retaliation for an Israeli strike on its consulate in Damascus, Syria.
Iran could strike Israel directly from its territory. A second option would be a coordinated attack by Iran’s allies on Israel.
A third option could combine the two. Yemen’s fighters have targeted Israel’s U.S.-supplied Iron Dome missile system immediately, with the Biden administration concerned about a multi-faceted attack that could overwhelm those systems. 
Iran could also strike Israeli embassies - including those in the Middle East - or Israeli troops in the occupied West Bank and Gaza, the outlet said.
U.S. President Joe Biden has said he informed Zionist prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu that Washington’s commitment to the occupying regime was “ironclad”.
But the Biden administration is divided over what level of support to give Israel, current and former U.S. officials told MEE. 
The president’s highest-ranking national security officials have staked out different positions, with some like Maher Bitar, the director of intelligence at the National Security Council, urging restraint while Brett McGurk, Biden’s top Middle East envoy, is advocating for a tougher response, sources told MEE, it said. 
The Biden administration’s fear of becoming embroiled in a wider Middle East war ahead of U.S. elections is also weighing on those discussions.
The Persian Gulf states’ cold feet amid the crisis comes after years of complaining that the U.S. has not done enough to protect them. Riyadh and Abu Dhabi viewed the Biden administration’s response to Yemen’s drone and missile retaliatory attacks as tepid, and have moved to patch up ties with Tehran.

Persian Gulf leaders are now walking a tightrope between their U.S. ally, Iran, and their populations, who are seething with anger at the Zionist regime over its genocide in Gaza that has martyred more then 33,000 Palestinians, mainly women and children. 
The U.S. has at least 40,000 troops in the Middle East. The majority are located in the oil-rich Persian Gulf states, where they are based at a string of strategic air and naval bases.
Saudi Arabia’s Prince Sultan Airbase is home to the U.S.’s 378th Air Expeditionary Wing which operates F-16 and F-35 jet fighters. The U.S. operates MQ-9 Reaper drones and jet fighters out of the UAE’s Al Dhafra Air Base. Kuwait’s Ali al-Salem Air Base is home to the 386th Air Expeditionary Wing.
Qatar’s Al Udeid Air Base hosts the regional headquarters for U.S. Central Command. It has also hosted some Israeli military officials, MEE has previously reported, but it’s not clear if those officials are still in the country.
The island kingdom of Bahrain is home to around 9,000 U.S. troops who belong to the headquarters of the U.S. Naval Forces Central Command and the U.S. Fifth Fleet.
Politico reported in February that the UAE was restricting the U.S.’s ability to launch retaliatory strikes against Iran’s allies from its air bases. The warnings underscore frustration with Washington. 
The immediate spark putting the region on the brink of a wider war was the Israeli strike on Iran’s consulate in Damascus that martyred several military advisors, including General Muhammad Reza Zahedi, the head of IRGC operations in Syria and Lebanon.
On Wednesday, Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei said that Israel “must be punished” for the consulate attack, which he equated to a strike on Iranian “soil”.