Iran and its pawns are escalating across the Mideast to push Biden into full retreat

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For all President Biden’s desperate desire to avoid “escalation” in the Middle East, US forces on Sunday sank three Houthi boats trying to hijack a freighter in the Red Sea, killing multiple terrorists — or pirates, if you prefer.

And the Houthis’ sponsor, Iran, pointedly sent a warship into the sea on Monday while a top Iranian security official, Ali Akbar Ahmadian, met Houthi spokesman Mohammed Abdulsalam, praising the terror group’s “brave actions” against “Zionist aggression.”

Meanwhile, US and UK officials are huddling about issuing a formal warning to the Houthis: If they keep up their Red Sea attacks (which already have many companies avoiding the straits through which pass 12%-15% of the world’s shipping), Western forces will retaliate against Houthi bases on land.

They haven’t made that obvious warning already out of fears that such strikes could reignite the Houthis’ war on Saudi Arabia, which reached a cold truce after Biden pulled US support for the Saudi forces.

Biden’s fears of escalation are also why the US military has barely responded to roughly 200 attacks on American forces across the Mideast by the Houthis and other Iranian proxies since Hamas reopened its war on Israel with the Oct. 7 atrocities.

Almost every day, these proxies launch drones or rockets against US forces in Iraq and Syria; just before Christmas, such a drone injured three US servicemen, one critically.

In response, Biden ordered a “calibrated” airstrike on that particular proxy, Kataib Hezbollah, in Iraq.

Iranian proxies have operated freely in Iraq since the Obama-Biden administration pulled all US forces out of Iraq in 2011 — only to send some back when ISIS rampaged to power.

Iran and its pawns know Biden’s fears all too well; they’re toying with him, knowing their escalations will make him ever more nervous about backing Israel in its war against Hamas.

Or at least move him to oppose Jerusalem’s possible coming campaign to drive Hezbollah out of southern Lebanon, from which that Iranian terror proxy has regularly been lobbing missiles and rockets into Northern Israel since Oct. 7.

It’s a deadly game of cat-and-mouse — except these mice believe they can scare the cat right out of the “house,” and so far he’s given them every reason to keep trying.



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