White House says Iran ‘actively facilitating’ some attacks on US military bases

Published October 24, 2023

The White House on Monday said Iran was in some cases “actively facilitating” rocket and drone attacks by Iranian-backed proxy groups on U.S. military bases in Iraq and Syria, and President Biden has directed the Department of Defense to brace for more and respond appropriately.

White House spokesman John Kirby said there had been an uptick in such attacks over the last week, and especially over the last few days, but the U.S. would not allow threats to its interests in the region to “go unchallenged.”

He said the United States believed these groups were supported by Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard (IRGC) and the Iranian government, which was also continuing to support the Hamas and Hezbollah militant groups.

“We know that Iran is closely monitoring these events, and in some cases, actively facilitating these attacks and spurring on others who may want to exploit the conflict for their own good, or for that of Iran,” he said.

There has been an increase in attacks on U.S. forces since the conflict in Israel intensified on Oct. 7 when militants from the Palestinian group Hamas attacked southern Israel.

“We are deeply concerned about the potential for any significant escalation of these attacks in the days ahead,” Kirby said.

Biden has sent naval power to the Middle East in the past two weeks, including two aircraft carriers, other warships and about 2,000 Marines.


SOURCE: https://www.reuters.com/world/white-house-bracing-more-iran-backed-attacks-us-bases-2023-10-23/

RELATED: Pentagon says it will hold Iran responsible for attacks on U.S. troops

The U.S. has ordered additional forces to the Middle East to protect personnel there.

Pentagon spokesperson Brig. Gen. Pat Ryder said that while “no one wants to see a wider regional conflict … we will not hesitate to protect our forces.” | Andrew Harnik/AP
Published October 23, 2023

The Defense Department ratcheted up its rhetoric against Iran on Monday, saying it will hold Tehran ultimately responsible for a spate of recent drone and rocket attacks on American troops in the Middle East.

While the Pentagon does not have information that the government of Iran “explicitly ordered” the attacks on U.S. forces in the past week, the groups responsible for the incidents are backed by Tehran, DOD spokesperson Brig. Gen. Patrick Ryder told reporters on Monday.

A number of U.S. troops were injured during the attacks, which spanned several days and bases in Iraq and Syria, and an American contractor died of a cardiac episode while running from a false alarm at al Asad air base in Iraq.

“By virtue of the fact that they are supported by Iran, we will ultimately hold Iran responsible,” Ryder said.

Ryder’s comments on Monday were a departure from the Pentagon’s more cautious rhetoric against Tehran since Hamas militants’ surprise attacks on Israel on Oct. 7 launched an escalating regional conflict.

In a press briefing last Thursday after the destroyer USS Carney intercepted missiles and drones launched by Yemen’s Houthi rebels in the northern Red Sea, Ryder declined to assign blame for the drone attacks on U.S. troops in Iraq and Syria. He also said he would not draw a direct link between the Oct. 7 strikes and the recent attacks on U.S. troops.


SOURCE: https://www.politico.com/news/2023/10/23/pentagon-iran-us-troops-attacks-00123028

RELATED: US warns Iran against escalation, boosts military readiness, pulls some Iraq staff

Pentagon bolsters regional air defenses as tensions boil over Israel-Hamas war, following attacks on US troops in Iraq, Syria by pro-Tehran militias

A US THAAD interceptor defense system during a test launch. (YouTube screen grab. Used in accordance with Clause 27a of the Copyright Law)
Published October 23, 2023

The United States has warned Iran and its allies against any regional escalation in the wake of Israel’s war with Hamas, two top US officials said Sunday, hours after the Pentagon moved to step up military readiness in the region.

With tensions mounting, Washington also announced Sunday it had ordered non-emergency staff to leave its embassy in Iraq.

“We are concerned at the possibility of Iranian proxies escalating their attacks against our own personnel, our own people,” Secretary of State Antony Blinken said on CBS News. “We expect there is a likelihood of escalation.”

“No one should take advantage of this moment to escalate to further attacks on Israel or, for that matter, attacks on us on our personnel.”

US troops have been attacked in Iraq and in Syria with drones and rockets in separate incidents this past week. A group of Iranian-backed militias in Iraq warned that US forces “must leave immediately” or their bases in Iraq and elsewhere in the region will continue to come under attack.


SOURCE: https://www.timesofisrael.com/us-amps-up-military-readiness-in-mideast-warns-iran-pulls-some-iraq-embassy-staff/


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