US National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan put Iran on notice Sunday, threatening military retaliation if Tehran directly targets American troops in the Israel-Hamas war.Sullivan said there have been “elevated threats against our forces throughout the region” since the conflict broke out Oct. 7 and took note of the strikes on two facilities with US troops that were launched by Iranian-backed militant groups in eastern Syria on Thursday.“We said that if our troops were attacked, we would respond. We responded [against the militant groups]. If [US troops are] attacked again, we will respond again,” Sullivan told CBS’ “Face the Nation.” “We are vigilant because we are seeing elevated threats.”Iranian-backed forces have attacked US forces or assets at least 19 times over the past two weeks, according to Sen. James Lankford (R-Okla.).Top officials in Tehran have ratcheted up their rhetoric against the US as the war rages. Foreign Minister Hossein Amirabdollahian, for instance, has warned that the US “will not be spared from these fires.”Sullivan also lamented the Palestinian deaths since the war broke out after Hamas’ bloody surprise attack on Israel, igniting the all-out war.“Every single one of those deaths is a tragedy. Every human life is sacred, whether it’s Palestinian, Israeli, American or any life,” he told CNN’s “State of the Union” on Sunday. “Hamas is going out of its way to make this more difficult. They are hiding among, integrating among those civilians and turning those civilians into human shields, but that does not lessen Israel’s responsibility in this regard,” Sullivan said. “And we have had conversations privately.”“The Israeli government should be taking every possible means available to them to distinguish between terrorists who are legitimate military targets and civilians,” he said. “I’m not going to react to every strike, every move that they make.”Behind the scenes, the Biden administration reportedly encouraged Israel to delay its long expected ground invasion of the Gaza Strip, home to Hamas, hoping to buy time to recover hostages and evacuate civilians. Israel said it began to “expand” its ground assault in Gaza over the weekend.Since the war broke out, more than 1,400 Israelis and 33 Americans have been killed, according to officials. On the Palestinian side, the Hamas-controlled Gaza Health Ministry estimates that the death toll there has topped 8,000. Many observers have questioned the reliability of those figures because of Hamas’ track record. President Biden will speak with Netanyahu on Sunday, Sullivan confirmed. The top White House adviser underscored that recovering the US hostages is a main priority and that the administration is working “tirelessly” to make that happen.At the moment, there are believed to be about 10 Americans unaccounted for in Israel, and Hamas is suspected of holding at least 230 people in all, according to US and Israeli officials. Sullivan also blasted extremist Israeli settler activity after a report of an Israeli settler killing a Palestinian civilian in the West Bank on Saturday.“We believe that Prime Minister [Benjamin] Netanyahu does have a responsibility to rein in the extremist settlers on the West Bank who are, as President Biden put it a few days ago, pouring fuel on the fire,” Sullivan said.Biden condemned Israeli settler violence last week during a press conference with Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese. “It has to stop. They have to be held accountable. It has to stop now,” Biden said at the time.The Biden administration is seeking to push Congress to deliver a sprawling $106 billion supplemental aid package that includes about $14 billion for Israel as well as funding for Ukraine, the border, and Taiwan. House Republicans have sought to separate the Israel and Ukraine aid provisions for votes.
29 Ekim 2023 - 19:10
Nat’l Security Adviser Sullivan threatens force against Iran while calling Israeli 'extremist settler’ violence unacceptable
Sullivan said there have been “elevated threats against our forces throughout the region” since the conflict broke out Oct. 7 and took note of the strikes on two facilities with US troo…
29 Ekim 2023 - 19:10