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Washington says Iran is 'actively facilitating' attacks on U.S. bases in Middle East

Anadolu Agency MIDDLE EAST
Published October 23,2023
White House National Security Council Strategic Communications Coordinator John Kirby takes part in a press briefing held by White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre at the White House in Washington, U.S., October 23, 2023. (REUTERS)

Washington on Monday said Iran is "actively facilitating" a series of recent attacks on its U.S. bases in the Middle East and vowed to protect its interests.

Speaking at a press briefing at White House, National Security Council Spokesman John Kirby said there has been an "uptick" in rocket and drone attacks over the course of the last week, against military bases housing U.S. personnel in Iraq and Syria. He blamed Iranian-backed proxy groups.

"We are deeply concerned about the potential for any significant escalation of these attacks," said Kirby.

"Iran continues to support Hamas and Hezbollah, and we know that Iran is closely monitoring these events and in some cases, actively facilitating these attacks and spurring on others who may want to exploit the conflict for their own good or for that of Iran," he added.

"We know Iran's goal is to maintain some level of deniability here, but we're not going to allow them to do that," said the spokesman.

He recalled that Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin ordered the U.S. military to take steps to ensure that the Pentagon is "postured appropriately, both in terms of being able to defend our forces and respond decisively as needed".

Kirby also cautioned that the U.S. military's capabilities are getting bigger and better every day.

Earlier, an attack involving two drones targeted the al-Tanf garrison, a base in southeastern Syria. Since the start of the Israel-Gaza conflict on Oct. 7, U.S. forces have faced repeated missile and drone attacks, blamed on Iran-backed groups.

Last Wednesday, U.S. forces stationed at the at-Tanf garrison came under attack from two drones.
Separately, in Iraq, two drones targeted the al-Asad Airbase on Tuesday.