Opinion: ISIS attacks spotlight the simmering mess growing in the Middle East

Editor’s Note: Peter Bergen is CNN’s national security analyst, a vice president at New America, a professor of practice at Arizona State University and the host of the Audible podcast “ In the Room ” also on Apple and Spotify . He is the author of “ The Rise and Fall of Osama bin Laden .” The views expressed in this commentary are his own. Read more opinion at CNN. CNN — The Biden administration has gone to great lengths to prevent a larger regional war in the Middle East. Yet, already, there is a de facto regional conflict raging with all the possibilities for screw-ups and escalatory responses that are inherent in such a conflict. Like a frog in a slowly boiling pot of water, the region may wake up one day soon and realize it’s in the midst of an all-out war. Peter Bergen CNN The danger of growing conflict is rising and threatens to entangle the United States. That’s partly why US Secretary of State Antony Blinken is visiting the Middle East this week: to try to stop the widening hostilities. Consider just the past few days: On Thursday, a US drone strike killed the leader of an Iranian-based militia in Baghdad, the Iraqi capital. Iranian-backed militias in Iraq and Syria have launched at least 118 attacks against US troops in Syria and Iraq since the October 7 attack by Hamas inside Israel. The strike in Baghdad was a calculated risk by the Biden administration, especially since there are growing calls in Iraq to expel some 2,500 US troops that remain in the country on a mission to counter ISIS. The Baghdad strike has amplified those calls to expel US troops, according to the leading Arabic-language newspaper Asharq Al-Awsat. In purported support of Hamas, the Houthis, […]

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