Service & Sacrifice: Chaos in the Middle East

A snapshot of the burdens being shouldered by brave U.S. troops and military families around the world.

U.S. Navy sailors aboard the guided-missile destroyer USS Mason conduct a replenishment-at-sea operation in the Red Sea on December 21, 2023.

By Tom Sileo Published on January 12, 2024

Middle East

Terrorists backed by Iran launched their biggest attack yet on military and commercial ships this week in the Red Sea.

Reuters reports that 21 drones and missiles were launched from Yemen by Houthi terrorists on Tuesday night. Thanks to the bravery and brilliance of U.S. and British military forces, all of the enemy weapons were shot down.

“This is an unsustainable situation,” said British Defense Secretary Grant Shapps, as quoted by Reuters. “This cannot continue and cannot be allowed to continue.”

On Thursday evening, Voice of America and other media outlets reported that U.S. and British fighter jets began retaliating with airstrikes against the Houthis inside Yemen. VOA’s Carla Babb reported that the airstrikes involved “more than a dozen” terrorist targets.

The U.S. military posted more details about Tuesday’s attacks on X, saying that F/A-18 fighter jets from four American and one British ship combined to shoot down 18 drones, two anti-ship cruise missiles and one anti-ship ballistic missile.

“This is the 26th Houthi attack on commercial shipping lanes in the Red Sea since November 19,” U.S. Central Command said. “There were no injuries or damage reported.”

On Thursday, Fox News reported that Iran seized an oil tanker in the Gulf of Oman. “The seized vessel, previously known as the Suez Rajan, was once at the center of another dispute between the U.S. and Iran that ultimately saw the U.S. seize over one million barrels of Iranian crude oil,” Fox reported.

As The Stream has been reporting ever since Hamas terrorists viciously attacked Israel in October, Iran is intent on causing chaos in the Middle East region and around the world. Nowhere is that more evident than in the Red Sea, where our nation’s valiant sailors continue to shoot down missiles, rockets and drone and sink Houthi ships when given the green light to do so.

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The situation also remains precarious for thousands of American troops stationed in Iraq and Syria. As POLITICO’s Lara Seligman reported earlier this week, the U.S. military has been attacked at least 127 times by Iran terrorist proxy groups since October. That includes “nine since January 4,” according to Seligman’s always stellar reporting.

We must keep paying attention to the sacrifices of our troops in this troubled region while praying for their safety and the well-being of their worried families.

Also this week, a group of Georgia National Guard soldiers departed their home state for the Middle East. “Their mission will be to collect primary source material necessary for historians to write the Army’s official history of operations in the area,” according to the National Guard. The U.S. military started conducting historical preservation missions during World War II.

“It’s a huge mission, but I’m confident in each of their skills and their teamwork,” Lt. Col. Jena Hutchison said. “I look forward to welcoming this team home after their successful deployment.”

We thank these soldiers and their families for their sacrifices and will be praying for their safe return.

Coming Home

As one group of brave military warriors heads to the Middle East, another is thankfully coming home. After spending the last ten months overseas, soldiers with the Delaware Army National Guard returned to their home state on Sunday.

Military Homecoming Delaware

Returning soldiers with the Delaware Army National Guard arrive at the Aviation Support Facility in New Castle, Delaware, January 7, 2023.

Welcome home, heroes! Thank you for your dedicated service to our country.


Tom Sileo is a contributing senior editor of The Stream. He is the author of the forthcoming I Have Your Back, the recently released Be Bold and co-author of Three Wise MenBrothers Forever8 Seconds of Courage and Fire in My Eyes. Follow Tom on X @TSileo and The Stream at @Streamdotorg.

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