Biden Warns of Response if Iran Attacks U.S. Troops – On Wednesday, President Joe Biden cautioned Iran’s supreme leader that the United States would take action in the event of an attack on American service members stationed in the Middle East by Iran or its affiliated proxies, while 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.” These comments follow a series of attacks against U.S. troops and military installations in the Middle East, which began with the outbreak of conflict between Israel and the Palestinian militant group Hamas.
Hamas, historically backed by Tehran both financially and logistically, launched a surprise attack on October 7. This attack resulted in over 1,200 Israeli casualties, dozens of abductions, and rocket strikes on cities like Tel Aviv and Jerusalem. In response, Israel initiated a blockade of Gaza and launched its own retaliatory missile strikes, causing thousands of casualties.
The U.S. has publicly committed to supporting Israel in its efforts to militarily confront Hamas and bring an end to its rule over the Gaza Strip, a rule that has persisted for nearly two decades. Various proxy groups backed by Tehran have issued threats to target U.S. military installations should Israel follow through on its intentions to invade the Gaza Strip and establish an occupation. Last week, a series of attacks spanning multiple days struck bases in both Iraq and Syria.
Tragically, an American contractor passed away due to a cardiac episode while evacuating during a false alarm at al-Asad air base in Iraq. Several service members sustained traumatic brain injuries, but they have since returned to their duties. Meanwhile, in the northern Red Sea, a U.S. Navy destroyer intercepted missiles and drones launched by Iranian-backed Yemeni Houthi rebels, who were considered a potential threat.
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On Monday, Pentagon spokesperson Brig. Gen. Patrick Ryder informed reporters that American troops at the al-Tanf garrison in southern Syria successfully downed two drones targeting their positions, with no injuries to service members. He also stated that the Pentagon would hold Iran accountable for these attacks on American troops, given Iran’s historical support for such groups.