Guam prays for peace as tensions rise in the Mideast

Today, Iran responded with a rocket attack on two U.S. military bases in Iraq.
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Tensions on Guam and throughout the world have risen in the wake of Iran’s missile attack this morning on two U.S. military installations in Iraq.

Members of the Guam Guard are stationed in the Mideast, but none are based in Iraq.

Still, island residents remain concerned and they’re praying for peace.

U.S. military outposts around the world have been bracing for violence since a U.S. drone attack last week killed Qassem Soleimani, the Iranian commander of Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard which was declared a foreign terrorist organization in April of last year.

Today, Iran responded with a rocket attack on two U.S. military bases in Iraq.

There are more than 200 members of the Guam National Guard on deployment in the Mideast, but Guam Guard spokeswoman Maj. Josephine Blas says none are in Iraq

“Currently, we do not have any Guam Guard airmen or soldiers in Iraq. We do have solders that are serving in the multi-national observer force in the Sinai and we have an airman who is in the CentCom area of operation right now,” Blas said.

Despite the attack, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security has not changed its terrorism alert status. A bulletin issued Saturday states “there is no specific, credible threat to the United States at this time.”

And Guam Homeland Security reiterated that position in a statement today which disavows a local viral social media post that recommends a series of steps that island residents should take to prepare for a possible terrorist attack.

Yet, island residents remain on edge and news of the missile attack on American forces in Iraq prompted a prayer for peace at the start of the Mayors Council of Guam meeting this morning.

A prayer echoed by the Guam Guard.

“We hope for the best. We hope that our soldiers and airmen remain safe and unharmed. But this is what we do. This is what we in the Guam National Guard sign up for. If they call upon us, we’re always ready. But naturally, we want everybody to be safe,” Blas said.

Father Jeff San Nicolas, Vicar General of the Archdiocese of Agana, also issued the following statement:

“The Catholic Church asks all people to pray fervently in light of recent developments involving the United States and Iran. Please pray that peace shall replace war and violence in the hearts and actions of all people, especially our world leaders. We pray that God safeguards our men and women deployed in military services and we also ask our loving Father to enfold all people in his protection.”