U.S. National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan answers questions during the daily briefing at the White House on November 13, 2023 in Washington, DC.
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National security adviser Jake Sullivan on Sunday said that the United States will conduct further military action against Iran-backed groups, heightening tensions in the Middle East despite Sullivan insisting that the U.S. is not seeking a wider conflict in the region.
“The president has been very clear from the beginning, which is that when American forces are attacked, we will respond, and we’ve responded several times over the course of the past few months,” Sullivan said during an interview on NBC News’ “Meet the Press,” adding that the recent strikes from the U.S. were “not the end” of the president’s ongoing military response. “We intend to take additional strikes and additional action to continue to send a clear message that the United States will respond when our forces are attacked or our people are killed.”
Whether or not the U.S. will conduct strikes inside Iran remains unclear.
“I’m not going to get into what we’ve ruled in and ruled out from the point of view of military action,” Sullivan said in response to moderator Kristen Welker’s question about whether or not the U.S. has ruled out strikes inside Iran.
“What I will say is that the president is determined to respond forcefully to attacks on our people. The president also is not looking for a wider war in the Middle East,” he added.