US Warns Iran and Militias of More Attacks, but Seeks to Avoid Open-Ended Conflict

The United States issues a stern warning to Iran and its affiliated militias, promising swift and forceful responses to any direct attacks on American forces. However, the Biden administration emphasizes its desire to avoid a prolonged military campaign in the Middle East.

Following a weekend of retaliatory strikes, the United States has issued a strong warning to Iran and the militias it supports. The message, delivered by President Joe Biden’s national security adviser, Jake Sullivan, emphasizes the US’s preparedness to deal with any threats but also highlights its reluctance to engage in an open-ended military conflict. As tensions escalate in the Middle East, the US has conducted strikes against Iranian-backed militias and is poised to respond further if its forces continue to be targeted.

Retaliatory Strikes Target Iran-Backed Militias and Houthis in Yemen

In response to repeated attacks on American and international interests by Houthi rebels in Yemen, the US and Britain launched strikes against 36 Houthi targets in the country. These strikes aimed to deter further aggression from the Iran-backed militants, who have been firing on American forces and their allies since the Israel-Hamas conflict.

Warning Against Direct Iranian Response

While the US is prepared to respond forcefully to any direct Iranian aggression, Sullivan emphasized that President Biden is not seeking a wider war. However, he made it clear that any direct response from Iran would be met with a swift and forceful reaction from the US. The Biden administration aims to send a clear message that attacks on American forces will not go unanswered.

Targeting Iranian-Backed Militias in Iraq and Syria

In retaliation for a drone strike that killed three US troops in Jordan, the US conducted an air assault on Iranian-backed militias and the Iranian Revolutionary Guard in Iraq and Syria. The strikes targeted command and control headquarters, intelligence centers, weapons storage sites, and other facilities connected to the militias. The US military is confident that the targets struck were valid and necessary to contain the threat posed to American forces.

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A Sustained Response, Not an Open-Ended Campaign

While the US intends to respond in a sustained manner to new attacks on its forces, Sullivan emphasized that this does not mean an open-ended military campaign. The Biden administration is committed to taking additional action to protect American personnel and send a clear message to those who target them. Some of these steps may be visible, while others may not be immediately apparent.

Yemen’s Houthi Rebels Continue Attacks

The Houthi rebels in Yemen have been conducting almost daily missile or drone attacks against commercial and military ships in the Red Sea and Gulf of Aden. Despite the presence of an international force to protect vessels in these vital waterways, the Houthis show no signs of scaling back their campaign. In response, the US conducted strikes across six provinces in Yemen held by the rebels, targeting underground missile arsenals, launch sites, and helicopters used by the rebels.

Iran’s Unease and Warning Over Cargo Ships

Iran has expressed its concern over the US strikes and warned against targeting two cargo ships suspected of serving as forward operating bases for Iranian commandos. The ships, Behshad and Saviz, have been registered as commercial cargo ships but are believed to have been used by Iran’s Revolutionary Guard for intelligence gathering. Iran’s regular army released a video statement describing the vessels as “floating armories” and warning against any terrorist activities targeting them.

Conclusion: As tensions escalate in the Middle East, the United States has issued a stern warning to Iran and its affiliated militias. While prepared to respond forcefully to any direct attacks on American forces, the Biden administration seeks to avoid a prolonged military campaign in the region. The US has conducted retaliatory strikes against Iranian-backed militias and Houthi rebels in Yemen, emphasizing its commitment to protecting its personnel and interests. The situation remains volatile, with the potential for further escalation, but the US aims to send a clear message while avoiding an open-ended conflict.

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