“We’re certainly going to act — if we have to— to continue to protect our troops and our facilities. We have proven that we will strike and act to do that. And that’s a strong message that Iran needs to take away. We take those responsibilities seriously,” stated John Kirby, National Security Council coordinator for strategic communications.
“We also take our national security interest writ large in the region very seriously, which is why the president has now employed two aircraft carrier strike groups … We’ve got to make sure we send a signal to all actors, not just Iran, but all actors, certainly Iran included, that we will take our national security interest very seriously. We will protect and defend our troops. And we’ll do it at a time in a manner of our choosing,” he told CNN.
US forces have been attacked 20 times throughout Iraq and Syria since October 17, Pentagon Press Secretary Brig. Gen. Patrick Ryder has confirmed in a statement on Friday.
Washington has accused Iran-backed militias, but admitted there is no evidence to pin blame on Tehran’s leadership for ordering the strikes.
Iranian Foreign Minister Hossein Amirabdollahian has denied that Iran had instructed groups in Syria and Iraq to target US troops in recent days.
He stated it was Washington — not Tehran — that was fanning the violence in the region.
“The US could face dire consequences in the Middle East if it continues to support Israel,” Amiradbollahian stressed, adding that Washington “is advising others to show self-restraint, but it has sided with Israel totally”.
“If the United States continues what it has been doing so far, then new fronts will be opened up against the United States.”
He also cautioned that the continued bloodshed in Gaza “will make the situation get out of control in the region.”
“The American side should decide – does it really want to escalate, intensify the war?” he asked.
The foreign minister went on to deny that Iran had instructed militant groups in Iraq and Syria to attack the US, insisting that they were acting on their own.
“They’re not receiving any orders from us, any instructions,” he noted.
Iran has repeatedly warned the United States against any act of mischief in the region.