Is the Iranian strike against a US base in Erbil connected to Ukraine?
Video showing an attack by Iranian missiles on a US base in Erbil Iraq have many wondering if the attack is related to the crisis in Ukraine.
Reports are emerging that on 12 Friday, Iran targeted a US military base and consulate in Erbil Iraq, with as many as six missiles.
So far, officials with the Department of Defense have said no US casualties have been reported.
Does the crisis in Ukraine relate to the attack?
With global tensions high, many are wondering if the strike was motivated by the US' involvement in the Russia-Ukraine conflict.
At this point, it does not appear that the conflict in eastern Europe was a contributing factor.
Rather, the attack in Erbil is reportedly related to the killing of two Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) leaders in an Israeli air attack that took place in Syria earlier this week.
Tensions have been increasing between the US and Iran over the last few years, prompted primarily by former-President Trump's rejection of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), otherwise known as the Iranian Nuclear Agreement.
In January 2020, Iran conducted a similar attack on a US base in retaliation for the killing of IRGC general Qasem Soleimani.
Since President Biden took office, the two countries have failed to return to the negotiating table over Iran's nuclear ambitions. These factors help to highlight that there are many other reasons, outside of the conflict in Ukraine, that could have motivated the attack.
Does Iran support the Russian invasion of Ukraine?
Western media has made it very clear that Russia's targeting of Ukraine has brought Europe, Canada, and the United States closer together. Very little has been reported on Russia's geo-strategic alliances and how other countries are interpreting the invasion.
One of President Putin's first calls after declaring his intention to invade Ukraine was to Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi who told the Russian leader that he supported his decision and affirmed that “NATO expansion is a serious threat to the security and stability of independent nations.” Some Iranians have taken to the streets to protests President Putin's actions, showing that support for the Russian regime is not uniform in the country.
When the United States announced additional sanctions on Russia in early March, White House officials said that they were going to take an approach similar to that taken towards Iran.
This news came after the European Union announced that various Russian banks would be prohibited from using the SWIFT banking system. When various Iranian banks were removed, Russia provided them with a connection to their global transaction system.