Militia official: US strike in Syria kills 1, wounds several

Les groupes pro Iran semblent montrer à nouveau les crocs

The attacks in Iraq laid down a challenge to the new Biden administration just as it opened a door to resumed negotiations with Tehran over its alleged nuclear weapons program.

In the week since Washington offered to talk with Tehran about reviving the 2015 nuclear deal, Iran has curbed United Nations monitoring, threatened to boost uranium enrichment and its suspected proxies have twice rocketed Iraqi bases with USA soldiers.

The operation follows intense U.S.

State Department spokesman Ned Price said Monday the U.S. would "hold Iran responsible for the actions of its proxies that attack Americans" but would not "lash out" and risk destabilising Iraq.

Analysts and officials in Iraq say the resumption of attacks after four months of relative calm shows Iran and its Iraqi allies are now abandoning de-escalation and seeking leverage over their rivals. On Saturday, gunfire further targeted an Iraqi employee of a US company responsible for maintaining F-16 aircraft, targeting an Iraqi air base north of Ballad.

Reporting on the breaking news, CNN's Erin Burnett noted that the airstrike was in response to "three separate rocket attacks in the past couple of weeks against American forces in Baghdad, in which a civilian contractor was killed, an American serviceman, along with eight other contractors [who] were wounded in another one of those attacks". "They want to remind everyone that they are still there and that they are" not in control, "he says, adding that these groups - those with political branches - are showing their muscles in the run-up to the legislative elections scheduled for October".

Biden's Ready to Talk With Iran About Nuclear Deal
Iran's latest measures threaten Washington's return to the nuclear deal , German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas said on Thursday. Remember the Trump administration pulled out of the nuclear deal in 2018.

"Responses like this are a necessary deterrent and remind Iran, its proxies, and our adversaries around the world that attacks on US interests will not be tolerated", he said in a statement.

"The United Nations Charter makes absolutely clear that the use of military force on the territory of a foreign sovereign state is lawful only in response to an armed attack on the defending state for which the target state is responsible", she said.

Geopolitical considerations aside, Iran may also have purely financial reasons to pressure Baghdad, local and Western officials told AFP. Iran, overwhelmed by sanctions, is trying to access an account issued by the Iraqi public bank in which Iraq pays for Iranian gas it imports. At the end of January, the head of the foreign operations of the Revolutionary Guards in Tehran, Esmail Ghani, met with a delegation of senior Iraqi officials.

"All indications are it's the same style of attacks", said the USA military official, speaking on condition of anonymity. Nevertheless, a definite American reaction can not be ruled out.

Trump had said the death of a US contractor would be a red line and provoke USA escalation in Iraq.

Iran is believed to be searching for an opportunity to avenge the USA assassination of top general Qasem Soleimani one year ago.

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