Gulf Allies Warn US Not To Launch Strikes On Iran From Their Territory

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by Tyler Durden
Friday, Apr 12, 2024 - 09:20 PM

America's Gulf allies say they don't want to get caught in the crossfire of any potential US/Israel and Iran shooting war. The United States has made it clear that it is ready to assist Israel in any potential response to Iranian attack. Tehran is poised to imminently retaliate for the April 1st Israeli airstrikes on its embassy in Damascus.

The Arab Gulf countries are worried that the US could launch attacks on Iran from their territories or airspace. Middle East Eye (MEE) reports, "Gulf monarchies are urging the US not to use American military bases on their territories to strike in response to any potential Iranian attack on Israel," according to security sources.

Al-Udeid Base, Qatar

"The US's Gulf allies are working overtime to shut down avenues that could link them to a US reprisal against Tehran or its proxies from bases inside their kingdoms, according to a senior US official who spoke with MEE on condition of anonymity," the report continues. 

This is to include warplanes, as the US Air Forces utilizes various airbases in the region. US allies said to have expressed serious concern include Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Oman and Kuwait.

Naturally, these countries are worried that Iran could strike back directly on their territories in response to any potential US strikes.

MEE writes that these have "raised questions about the intricate details of basing agreements that permit tens of thousands of US troops to be stationed across the oil-rich peninsula." Further, "They are also moving to prevent US warplanes from flying over their airspace in the event the US conducts a retaliatory strike on Iran."

Rumors have persisted throughout Friday that some countries have even warned that US troops could be banned from their territories should the US carry out aggression against Iran from out of the Gulf region, but such specific threats of shuttering bases have not been confirmed.

Amid reports that the US is now bolstering its its forces and readiness across the region, the below is the latest from President Biden:

US President Joe Biden said on Friday his message to Iran, which has threatened to take military action against Israel, is "don't."

Speaking to reporters, Biden also said: "We are devoted to the defense of Israel. We will support Israel. We will help defend Israel and Iran will not succeed."

Biden and his top officials have of late repeatedly vowed an "ironclad" commitment to ensuring Israel's defense. However, there's reportedly some fierce division among his National Security Council over what precisely this might look like.

Iran has already said that if the US intervenes directly on Israel's behalf, American bases in the region will be struck. In the opening months of the Israel-Gaza war, US bases in Western Iraq and Eastern Syria were repeatedly hit by drone, rocket and mortar fire, but such attacks have calmed of late.

Middle East Eye has reviewed the major Gulf bases where US troops are housed as follows:

Saudi Arabia’s Prince Sultan Airbase is home to the US’s 378th Air Expeditionary Wing which operates F-16 and F-35 jet fighters. The US operates MQ-9 Reaper drones and jet fighters out of the UAE’s Al Dhafra Air Base. Kuwait’s Ali al-Salem Air Base is home to the 386th Air Expeditionary Wing.

Qatar’s Al Udeid Air Base hosts the regional headquarters for US Central Command. It has also hosted some Israeli military officials, MEE has previously reported, but it's not clear if those officials are still in the country.

The island kingdom of Bahrain is home to around 9,000 US troops who belong to the headquarters of the US Naval Forces Central Command and the US Fifth Fleet. Oman also allows the US military overflights and port calls. 

Source: Axios research; Map: Kavya Beheraj/Axios

US officials are still predicting a major Israeli attack on Israel to come anywhere between 24 and 48 hours. Israel's home command is at the same time urging the public "not to panic", also as hospitals are placed on high alert.