US plans further strikes on Iran-backed groups, says National Security Adviser

The United States plans more strikes against Iran-backed groups in the Middle East, according to White House National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan. This came on Sunday following recent attacks by the U.S. and Britain against Tehran-aligned factions in Iraq, Syria, and Yemen.

Over the past two days, the U.S. and Britain targeted 36 Houthi positions in Yemen, following U.S. strikes on Iran-supported groups in Iraq and Syria. These actions were in retaliation for an attack on U.S. troops in Jordan.

“We intend to take additional strikes and actions to continue sending a clear message that the United States will respond when our forces are attacked, when our people are killed,” Sullivan said during NBC’s “Meet the Press.”

These latest strikes are part of a wider conflict that escalated on Oct. 7, when Hamas, an Iran-backed Palestinian militant group, attacked Israel from the Gaza Strip, leading to war.

Support for the Palestinians by Tehran-backed groups has manifested regionally: Hezbollah has attacked Israeli targets along the Lebanese-Israeli border, Iraqi militias have targeted U.S. forces in Iraq and Syria, and the Houthis have launched attacks in the Red Sea and against Israel.

While Iran has supported these groups, it has not directly engaged in the conflict. The Pentagon maintains it does not seek war with Iran and believes Tehran also wishes to avoid direct conflict.

Sullivan did not specify whether the U.S. might target locations within Iran, a move the U.S. military has historically avoided.