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  Opinion   Edit  29 Jan 2024  AA Edit | Stop the war in Gaza first

AA Edit | Stop the war in Gaza first

THE ASIAN AGE.
Published : Jan 29, 2024, 11:06 pm IST
Updated : Jan 29, 2024, 11:06 pm IST

Jordan drone attack raises global war fears, urgent plea for Gaza ceasefire amidst US casualties

Smoke billows over Rafah in the southern Gaza Strip during Israeli bombardment on January 29, 2024, amid ongoing battles between Israel and the Palestinian militant group Hamas. (Photo by AFP)
 Smoke billows over Rafah in the southern Gaza Strip during Israeli bombardment on January 29, 2024, amid ongoing battles between Israel and the Palestinian militant group Hamas. (Photo by AFP)

The deaths of three American soldiers from a drone strike by Iran-backed rebels in northeast Jordan near the Syrian border and injuries to at least 34 others represent the first US military casualties since hostilities began between Hamas and Israel on October 7. There have been hundreds of missiles and drone-strikes against American military installations in Iraq and Syria but, before this, not in Jordan where the US has over 3,000 troops.

The fear is the US is too far committed to security in the region as to leave its soldiers vulnerable to attacks as every rebel group in the area is thirsting for revenge for the war in Gaza. The US has responded with a warning that it will hold the killers to account at a time and in a manner of their choosing.

The risk of escalation has become extremely high now of a war spilling way beyond the narrow confines of the Gaza Strip.  What the rebel action involving the US directly does is to increase the chances of a global war that is being freely spoken of now in certain circles and has even triggered action in some nations like the US, which is preparing to place nuclear warheads in bases in the UK.

There is, however, a lesser possibility of the US dragging Iran directly into the conflict, though the matter has been raised in the House with a Republican lawmaker calling for strikes on Iran whose actions in backing rebel militias in the hotbed of activity in the Middle East has added liberally to the horrifying stench of war.

There is only one way to stop all these strikes, from Iraq and Syria and into the waters that help global trade move goods and that is to initiate a ceasefire in Gaza and spare the Palestinians from relentless bombing and displacement by Israeli defence forces. That would be the starting point for pursuing the much spoken of two-State solution.

Whatever is happening now in the restive region following the October 7 Hamas attack on Israel and the Israeli response is tied to the Gaza war. However thorny the path forward, there must be some way to rein in Israeli bombing and troops on the ground in Gaza and bring about the ceasefire the US is also chasing now with a two-month cessation of hostilities in exchange for hostages in the air.

Tags: aa edit, gaza air strikes, israel palestine conflict