The United States and Israel are preparing for even more military action against Iran following the assassination of prominent nuclear scientist, Mohsen Fakhrizadeh, in the countryside of Tehran last week.
The Israeli Defense Forces and the United States have already stepped up coordination mechanisms to react to what Israeli media likes to call ‘non-motivated aggression’ by Iran. The accepted measures reportedly include procedures for joint detection of missile or rocket fire at Israeli or American targets. Israeli sources claim that Iran will respond to the attack, which took place near Tehran, most likely in some asymmetrical way, by the end of December.
In another sign of the coming escalation, the White House is partially withdrawing staff from the embassy in Baghdad and other diplomatic facilities in Iraq. Dozens of diplomats and specialists have already left Iraq, according to US media. It should be noted that on January 3, 2020, when a US drone strike assassinated Iranian General Qassem Soleimani at the Baghdad International Airport, US military bases in Iraq became targets of an Iranian ballistic missile strike. Taking into account the tendency of the Iranian leadership and the Axis of Resistance in general towards a symbolic move, Iranian-led forces may opt to align their retaliation moves with the anniversary of the killing of Soleimani.
At the same time, the administration of US President Donald Trump is trying to do whatever possible, as long as Trump in the White House, to rescue Saudi Arabia, the key ally of the US-Israeli bloc, from a total defeat in the Yemeni war.
On December 2, the State Department approved a possible $350 million deal to continue providing security support services to Saudi Arabia. The ‘technical and advisory’ assistance mission in the Kingdom under this deal requires the permanent assignment of approximately 330 service members and specialists. A previous deal of this kind was reached in 2016 but this did not help the Kingdom to deal with its failing military adventure in Yemen. Instead, the situation only deteriorated and the Houthis are now regularly launching drones and missiles at key Saudi military and infrastructure objects. Therefore, it is unlikely that the $350 million mission would be able to advise the Kingdom how to reverse this trend.
Another frontline of the restless US efforts against Iran is Venezuela, which Washington calls its own backyard. According to recent claims by the Pentagon, Iran is now actively sending weapons and deploying personnel of the elite Quds Force to the country. The year 2020 is slowly coming to its end, but it seems that there is enough time for President Trump to launch a ‘little victorious war’ with Iran before leaving the White House. The only potential problem is the price that the US nation would have to pay for Mr. Trump’s goal of gaining new fans in Israel.