Biden Admin Spokesperson: U.S. Doesn’t Want ‘Wider War With Iran’
While there have been calls for the United States to make a decisive statement on the deadly attack on its forces in the Middle East on Sunday, spokesperson for the Biden administration has said that the U.S. is not seeking a war with Iran.
An Iran-backed military group that operates in Iraq and Syria carried out a drone attack at a small U.S. military outpost in northeast Jordan close to the Syrian border while troops were sleeping. Three U.S. service members were killed in the attack, according to U.S. Central Command. While initial reports said that 25 troops were injured, the number grew to 34 by Sunday evening.
Pointing fingers at the culprit, National Security Council coordinator John Kirby told MSNBC that the strike had “all the earmarks of a group or groups that are supported by Kataib Hezbollah, which is one of the big IRGC funded, supported, and resourced groups that operates in Iraq and Syria.”
President Joe Biden stated that an Iraqi-militia backed by Iran was behind the attack.
“These groups are trying to threaten our troops and facilities, and that means trying to do it in a lethal way. So in this particular attack, they did kill three American service members and wounded 30 more. So this one had lethal consequences in ways that previous ones didn’t, but that doesn’t mean the intent in the previous attacks weren’t also lethal. It’s just that we were able to defeat them,” Kirby told CNN in an interview.
“We don’t want a wider war with Iran. We don’t want a wider war in the region. But we got to do what we have to do,” he said to MSNBC.
While Kirby emphasized that the U.S. is not looking to start a war with Iran, Biden and Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin both indicated during separate statements that the U.S. would respond to the attack, which is the first successful drone attack against U.S. forces in the Middle East since the beginning of the war between Israel and Hamas.
“We will hold all those responsible to account at a time and in a manner of our choosing,” Biden stated, while Austin said, “We will respond at a time and place of our choosing.”
Meanwhile, lawmakers have been pushing for direct and fierce military action against Iran, with Sen. Tim Scott (R-SC) declaring that the U.S. has had “enough.”
“The Biden administration’s appeasement of Iran must end. It’s time for clear and decisive action, and Iran must be held accountable for the malign activities of its proxies,” the former presidential candidate wrote.
Enough is enough.
The Biden administration’s appeasement of Iran must end.
It’s time for clear and decisive action, and Iran must be held accountable for the malign activities of its proxies.
— Tim Scott (@SenatorTimScott) January 28, 2024