Four more attacks were recorded on remnant US bases in Western Iraq and Eastern Syria, bringing the toll of injured American personnel to 56. The Pentagon has said only that the wounded have traumatic brain injuries, although one contractor died of a heart attack.
“There will be no truce with the US occupation in Iraq unless a genuine and binding ceasefire is established in the Gaza Strip,” said Abu Alaa al-Walai, the leader of the Iraqi militia group Kataib Sayyid al-Shuhada, according to Al Mayadeen.
The Pentagon has blamed Iran for the attacks originating inside Syria and Iraq, but has also admitted they have no evidence for the accusation.
Iran has also denied the claims. The nation’s Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian recently had a phone call to discuss the onslaught in Gaza with his counterpart in Qatar. The two nations have historically been at odds as part of the age-old tensions between Sunni and Shia Muslims, but they nevertheless “exchanged opinions concerning the available means of cessation of the Israeli regime’s savage aggression, immediate implementation of a ceasefire, and continuous transfer of humanitarian supplies to Gaza’s war-hit and besieged civilians,” more than 10,000 of which have been killed by Israel, mostly by being exploded into pieces by bombs for their loved ones and neighbors to pick up, or crushed by the rubble of falling buildings.
In the call, Amir-Abdollahian said that “expansion of the scope of the war has become inevitable,” due to the expansion and intensity of the war against civilians, something which the new head of the US military, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Charles Q. Brown, said would undoubtedly strengthen Hamas.
Asked by reporters if the high civilian casualty rate will create more Hamas fighters, Brown said, “Yes, very much so. And I think that’s something we have to pay attention to”.
The high civilian casualty rate spurred 1,000 employees of the US Agency for International Development (USAID) to sign a letter urging the Biden Administration to seek an “immediate ceasefire”.
“We believe that further catastrophic loss of human life can only be avoided if the United States Government calls for an immediate ceasefire in Gaza, the release of Israeli hostages, and the restoration of water, food, fuel, and electricity to the people of Gaza by the State of Israel,” the letter read.
“In the longer term, we call on the United States Government to join the international community and human rights organizations in holding all parties, including the State of Israel, to international law, which includes ending Israel’s illegal occupation of the Palestinian territories and settlements on occupied land”.
The high civilian casualty rate, which just crossed 10,000 according to the Palestinian health authorities, was dismissed by President Biden as untrustworthy, but Assistant Secretary of State for Near Eastern Affairs Barbara Leaf said publically that she believes the number is actually higher than 10,00o.
“We think they’re very high, frankly, and it could be that they’re even higher than are being cited,” she told the House Foreign Affairs Committee. WaL
PICTURED ABOVE: Destroyed building in Gaza, October 2023. PC Palestinian News & Information Agency CC 3.0:.