Biden Pledges 'Response' If Iran Attacks U.S. Troops
Washington D.C./26.10.23/Turan: U.S. President Joe Biden said on Tuesday he has warned Iran’s supreme leader that the U.S. would respond if Tehran or its allied proxies attacked American service members stationed in the Middle East, TURAN's Washington correspondent reports.
“My warning to the Ayatollah was that if they continue to move against those troops, we will respond. And he should be prepared,” Biden told a joint news conference at the Rose Garden speaking with Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese.
His comments came on the heels of several attacks against American troops and military installations in the Middle East since the outbreak of a war between Israel and Hamas, which has long received financial and logistical support from Tehran.
While Washington has repeatedly highlighted its efforts to prevent the conflict from spreading across the Middle East, Biden was pressed on whether strikes carried out by Iranian-backed proxy groups in Iraq and Syria are evidence that is already happening.
"We have had troops in the region since 9/11 to go after ISIS and prevent its reemergence," he responded.
In the meantime, as regional backlash to Israeli strikes on Gaza grows, both Biden and Albanese in their opening statements stressed the need for additional humanitarian aid as well as the need to protect civilians' lives in the area.
Bkiden also said he "did not demand" Israel delay a ground incursion of Gaza in an effort to protect hostages and keep humanitarian aid flowing into Gaza.
"What I have indicated to [Benjamin Netanyahu] is that, if it's possible, to get these folks out safely, that's what he should do. It's their decision. I did not demand it," he said.
"Obviously, they're in jeopardy," he went to add of the hostages.
The question, he said, is whether or not there's any way of getting them out. "If we can get them out, we should get them out."
Biden also addressed the question of "day after" underscoring the administration's support of a two-state solution -- which would establish an independent Palestinian homeland alongside Israel -- and said it would take cooperation from all sides to turn that vision into a reality.
"It means a concentrated effort from all of the parties, the Israelis, the Palestinians, regional partners, global leaders, to put us on a path toward peace," he said.