After hitting Tehran-aligned factions in Iraq, Syria and Yemen over the last two days, White House national security adviser Jake Sullivan said on Sunday that the United States intends to launch further strikes at Iran-backed groups in the Middle East. The United States and Britain attacked 36 Houthi targets in Yemen, one day after the U.S. military hit Tehran-backed groups in Iraq and Syria in retaliation for a deadly attack on U.S. troops in Jordan.
Sullivan told NBC’s “Meet the Press” program on Sunday: “We intend to take additional strikes, and additional action, to continue to send a clear message that the United States will respond when our forces are attacked, when our people are killed.” Sullivan declined to say whether the United States might attack sites inside Iran, something the U.S. military has been very careful to avoid. Speaking to CBS’ ‘Face the Nation’, he said Friday’s strikes were “the beginning, not the end, of our response, and there will be more steps – some seen, some perhaps unseen. I would not describe it as some open-ended military campaign.”
The strikes are the latest blows in a conflict that has spread into the Middle East since Oct. 7, when the Iran-backed Palestinian militant group Hamas stormed Israel from the Gaza Strip. Iran has so far avoided any direct role in the conflict, and The Pentagon has said it does not want war with Iran, nor does it believe Tehran wants war either.
The Houthi military spokesperson Yahya Sarea said the strikes “will not pass without a response and consequences”, while another Houthi spokesperson, Mohammed Abdulsalam, indicated the group would not be deterred, saying Yemen’s decision to support Gaza would not be affected by any attack.
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