The United States will take “further action” after that Carrying out major air strikes National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan said on Sunday that the United States launched attacks against Iranian-backed militias over the weekend against American forces in the Middle East.
“I would just say that the president was clear when he ordered them and when he directed them, that was the beginning of our response and there will be more steps to come,” Sullivan told CNN on “State of the Union.”
“What it means is we will take further action,” Sullivan said, when asked by Bash whether that meant the United States was planning additional strikes.
He said: “Obviously I will not describe the nature of this action because I do not want to send a telegram of our punches.”
Sullivan's comments come after the US adopted a “multi-layered” response to the drone attack Three American service members were killed More than 40 others were injured last week. The attack caused the worst loss of American military lives in the region In nearly three years The first casualties in the ranks of the US Army since the outbreak of the war in Gaza.
Friday, The United States hit 85 targets in seven locations In Iraq and Syria, there has been a significant escalation in tensions between the United States and Iranian-backed groups that are attacking American bases across the region in protest against the Israeli war in Gaza. These groups are believed to be funded and trained by Iran, and the United States is considered responsible for Israel's actions by supplying the Jewish state with weapons and its failure to impose a ceasefire.
The Iraqi government said on Friday that US strikes killed at least 16 people in Iraq, including civilians, and wounded 25 others. Iraqi officials said the attacks hit areas close to the border with Syria and targeted facilities used by the Iran-linked Popular Mobilization Forces – or Popular Mobilization Units – in the Iraqi city of Al-Qaim.
Sullivan said the United States is “still assessing battle damage” from Friday night's strikes in Iraq and Syria, and “our Central Command, is looking at the capabilities that we have reduced and the losses that have been incurred.”
CNN cannot independently verify the number or nature of the victims.
the next day, The US and UK launched strikes on at least 30 Houthi targets In Yemen, air and surface platforms, including combat aircraft, are supported by several other countries.
Saturday's strikes specifically targeted Houthi weapons storage facilities and equipment. The Houthis responded by saying that they would not stop until Israel ended its operations in Gaza.
Regarding whether the United States is now embroiled in a regional conflict, Sullivan stressed that attacks by Iranian-backed militias on US forces in Iraq and Syria are separate from Houthi attacks on ships in the Red Sea, describing them as “distinct but related challenges.”
But he said that Tehran is located in the center of most of them.
“Iran bears great and malignant responsibility for much of the instability in the Middle East,” he said. “This must be taken into account in how we deal with everything we do and how Israel should deal with everything it does.”
The Biden administration is threading a needle — it wants to deter and stop further attacks while avoiding a full-scale conflict with Iran in a region already troubled by the ongoing war between Israel and Hamas.
“We are not looking to take the United States into war,” Sullivan said. He added: “Therefore, we will continue to pursue a policy that follows these two lines simultaneously, and responds strongly and clearly, as we did on Friday night, but also continues to adhere to an approach that does not convince the United States.” “They have been drawn into a war that we have seen repeatedly in the Middle East.”
Asked whether the United States would rule out strikes inside Iran, Sullivan said he “would not rule out or rule out any activity anywhere,” but that “the president will do what he believes needs to be done.”
A senior administration official had previously confirmed to CNN that the United States would not attack Iranian territory and would focus only on targets outside the country.
Tehran has repeatedly said it does not seek conflict. Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi said on Friday that his country would not start the war but would “respond strongly.”
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