Secretary of State Antony Blinken last weekend expressed concern that Iranian proxies could target American personnel and revealed that US officials were prepared to “decisively” respond if any attacks take place, CBS News reported.
While appearing on CBS’s “Face the Nation” last Sunday, Blinken said the US has taken “every measure” to ensure that American personnel are defended. He said while the US is not “looking for” conflict with Iran, it is prepared if a conflict is what Iran chooses.
When asked about the Americans held hostage by Hamas, Blinken said he couldn’t speak about the details of those held in Gaza but said the US, like Israel, is “using whatever levers,” partnerships, and relationships it has to get the hostages out.
Blinken added that the US is leaving it up to Israel to determine what military operations it uses to achieve the results it seeks.
During a televised address last week, President Biden warned Iranian leaders that the United States would continue holding them accountable for their involvement with Russia and terror groups like Hamas and Hezbollah.
When asked about the president’s comments, Blinken told “Face the Nation” host Margaret Brennan that the Biden administration is standing by its commitment to deter any Iranian proxies from exploiting the escalating situation in Gaza.
After Iranian-backed groups targeted US forces in Syria and Iraq at least 16 times since last Tuesday, Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin announced on Thursday night that the US military launched strikes against two facilities used by Iranian groups in eastern Syria.
The Pentagon told reporters Thursday night that the strikes launched by F-16s hit a storage area for weapons and another for ammunition near Abu Kamal in Syria.
In the recent attacks on US facilities, 19 US military personnel suffered traumatic brain injuries while another two sustained minor injuries.