Biden warns of response if Iran attacks American forces in Middle East

US President Joe Biden warned Tehran on Wednesday that the United States would respond if Iran or "its allied proxies" attacked American service members stationed in the Middle East. Tehran has denied any involvement in the recent attacks on American bases in Iraq and Syria.

Speaking at a joint news conference with Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese at the White House, Biden said: “My warning to the Ayatollah was that if they continue to move against those troops, we will respond. And he should be prepared.”

The comments come on the heels of several attacks against US troops and military installations in the Middle East since the outbreak of a war between Israel and the Palestinian group Hamas.

The latest escalation between Hamas and Israel began early on October 7, when the Palestinian fighters launched a surprise attack on multiple locations along the Gaza border in response to Israel’s repeated aggression against Palestinians and desecration of the al-Aqsa Mosque.

Israeli officials estimate that more than 1,400 people have been killed in the Hamas assault and over 5,000 have been wounded.

Israeli massive air strikes on the densely-populated Gaza Strip, has so far killed almost 6,500 people.

The US has publicly pledged to support Israel as it seeks to militarily defeat Hamas and end its rule over the Gaza Strip, which dates back nearly two decades. Several armed groups have threatened to attack US military installations if Israel goes through with its threats to invade the Gaza Strip and occupy it.

A spate of attacks last week spanned several days and targeted bases in both Iraq and Syria. An American contractor died of a cardiac episode while running from a false alarm at al-Asad air base in Iraq.

Several of the service members have suffered traumatic brain injuries, though all have returned to duty.

Washington has accused Iran-backed militias, but admitted there is no evidence to pin blame on Tehran’s leadership for ordering the strikes.

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