Written by Jeff Mason
WASHINGTON (Reuters) – US President Joe Biden He said on Tuesday that he had made up his mind on how to respond to a drone attack that killed American soldiers in Jordan, while considering punishing Iranian-backed militias without provoking a broader war.
Biden, who was speaking to reporters as he was leaving the White House on a campaign trip to Florida, did not explain his decision, which came after consultations with senior advisors in the White House.
He said that the United States does not need a broader war in the Middle East, repeating statements by other officials on Tuesday that the United States does not want a war with Iran.
Biden was considering his options and expectations indicated retaliatory strikes, but the timing of the response was not clear.
“I don't think we need a broader war in the Middle East. That's not what I'm looking for,” Biden said.
Biden answered “yes” when asked if he had decided how to respond to the attacks.
Asked whether Iran was responsible, Biden added: “I hold them responsible in the sense that they are supplying weapons to those who carried out the attacks.”
Three American soldiers were killed and at least 34 others were wounded in a drone attack by Iranian-backed militants on American forces in northeastern Jordan near the Syrian border, officials said on Sunday.
(Reporting by Jeff Mason; Writing by Doina Chiacu and Steve Holland; Editing by Chizuo Nomiyama)
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