PRESIDENT Joe Biden “has chosen his target” for a revenge attack after three American troops were killed by a drone strike in Jordan.
“I don’t think we need a wider war in the Middle East. That’s not what I’m looking for,” he added.
But while Iran itself has denied any direct involvement in Sunday’s attack, they have warned the US that any response on its territory is a red line.
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If Iranian soil receives a direct hit, then Tehran claims it will hit back at American assets in the Middle East.
Both nations have reiterated that they are not looking to spark an open war, but any wrong move from the US could draw the two nations into a direct conflict.
Iran’s warning comes as they wait on high alert for Biden’s impending response.
The US President was considering blitzing naval targets following the deaths of Sgt William Jerome Rivers, 46, Specialist Kennedy Ladon Sanders, 24, and Specialist Breonna Alexsondria Moffett, 23.
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Dozens more were also injured in Sunday’s strike near the Syrian border.
It marked the first US deaths by enemy fire since the start of the Israel-Hamas war – a major escalation in the crisis taking hold across the region.
Asked if Iran should be blamed for the attack, Biden said: “I do hold them responsible in the sense that they’re supplying the weapons to the people who did it.”
While it remains unseen as to how Biden and the US will respond, White House National Security Council spokesperson John Kirby said a “tiered approach” may be taken.
“It’s fair for you to expect that we will respond in an appropriate fashion,” he told reporters aboard Air Force One ahead of Biden’s flight to Florida on Tuesday.
“It is very possible that what you’ll see is a tiered approach here, not just a single action, but essentially multiple actions,” he said.
Kirby added: “The guiding principle is making sure that we continue to degrade the kinds of capabilities that these groups have at their disposal to use against our troops and our facilities.
“The president will do what he has to do to protect our troops and our facilities and to look after our national security.”
President Biden has a number of options to mull over, including retaliatory strikes on Iran-allied bases and commanders.
The US could also target senior commanders of Iran’s Islamic Revolution Guard Corps in Iraq or Syria.
Amid ongoing tensions, the Iranian foreign ministry summoned the British ambassador, Simon Shercliff, on Tuesday.
They demanded the UK ends its allegations that Iran is attempting to intimidate Iranian dissidents living in Britain.
The Iranian foreign minister, Hossein Amir-Abdollahian, struck a confident note that events across the region were still trending in Iran’s direction.
He said the White House knew well that “a political solution” was required to end the carnage in the besieged Gaza Strip and the current crisis in the Middle East.
It comes after Kata’ib Hezbollah, an armed faction of the Islamic Resistance, announced the immediate “suspension” of military operations against the US in both Syria and Iraq.
The decision was made to avoid “embarrassment” for the Iraqi government after the Pentagon said Sunday’s attack bore the “footprints” of the Iraq-based terror group.
But Yemen’s Iran-aligned Houthis have declared their plan to continue targeting US and British warships in the Red Sea in self defence.
The group’s military spokesperson made the announcement in a statement carried by Al-Massirah TV after missiles were fired at US warship USS Gravely. report Times Of Israel.
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But Britain is preparing to send an aircraft carrier to the Red Sea to blast Houthi targets in Yemen with F-35 Lightning jets.
Defence minister James Heappey gave a “whopping great clue” that one of the Navy’s two carriers would get orders to steam into battle.
Who are Kata’ib Hezbollah?
KATA’IB Hezbollah is a radical Shiite paramilitary group based in southern Iraq.
Also known as the Hezbollah Brigades, the group first emerged in the early 2000s and has been blamed for violence across Iraq.
It has close ties with fellow Iranian proxy Hezbollah in Lebanon and Iran’s terrorist army, the Islamist Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC).
The group is also affiliated with the Hashed al-Shaabi (Popular Mobilisation Force), an alliance of Iran-backed former paramilitary groups now integrated into Iraq’s regular armed forces.
With up to 10,000 members, the group has been responsible for attacks on US targets in Iraq and Syria killing hundreds of soldiers.
Its leader Ahmad al-Hamidawi, was named a Specially Designated Global Terrorist in February 2020.
The Pentagon believes that a drone strike on a US base near the Syria-Jordan border on January 27 that killed three personnel bore the ‘footprints’ of the group.