Washington, Oct 23 (EFE).- White House National Security Council spokesman John Kirby said on Monday that rocket and drone attacks by Iranian-backed groups against US military bases in Iraq and Syria have increased in recent days.
“We are deeply concerned about the potential for a significant escalation of these attacks in the coming days,” Kirby said at the daily White House briefing.
He also recalled that Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin has ordered the US military to take steps to ensure the Pentagon is “appropriately postured, both in terms of being able to defend our forces and to respond decisively if necessary.”
On Monday, there was an attempted drone attack on the Al-Tanf base in Syria, according to Pentagon spokesman Brigadier General Pat Ryde, who indicated that two one-way drones were shot down by defensive systems, with no casualties reported among US forces.
Kirby recalled that over the weekend, the Pentagon announced a series of measures to improve the US position in the Middle East due to recent escalatory actions by Iran and its proxies.
The Defense Department said it would send more missiles and defense systems to the region.
Specifically, it ordered the aircraft carrier USS Dwight D. Eisenhower to be moved to the area of Central Command, which oversees the Middle East and Central Asia.
“We’re going to do what’s necessary to make sure that our troops are in that position and they were protected and that we have the ability to respond,” said Austin.
Kirby also accused Iran of enabling the incidents.
“We know that Iran is closely monitoring events and in some cases actively facilitating these attacks and encouraging others who want to exploit the conflict for their own good,” he said.
Kirby added “I made it clear, the president does not want to see the conflict widen. We have added additional military capability into the region to deter any such action, and we will act appropriately to protect and defend our national security interests in the region.”
Although it cannot be proven that Iran was involved in the Oct. 7 attacks by the Palestinian Islamist group Hamas, Kirby added that there is ““a very direct connection between these groups” and the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps.
He said the US is “deeply concerned about the potential for a significant escalation of these attacks in the days ahead.”
In the same vein, the Pentagon spokesman added that while no explicit order from Tehran had been followed, the mere fact of support meant that “Iran will ultimately be held responsible.”
As a senior military official emphasized in a call with the press, “the road leads to Iran: Iran finances, equips and trains militias and auxiliary forces throughout the region, which has undermined stability throughout the area.” EFE pem-mgr/mcd/ics