A Pentagon spokesperson, discussing increased attacks against bases housing U.S. personnel in Iraq and Syria, said that “these groups [conducting the attacks] are groups that are backed by Iran. We don't necessarily see that Iran has explicitly ordered them to take these kinds of attacks. That said, by virtue of the fact that they are supported by Iran, we will ultimately hold Iran responsible”. “We’re going to continue to do what we need to do to protect and safeguard our forces and take all necessary measures”, he added. “No one wants to see a wider regional conflict, but we will not hesitate to protect our forces”. Relatedly, a U.S. National Security Council spokesperson warned that “We know Iran’s goal is to maintain some level of deniability here, but we’re not going to allow them to do that. We also are not going to allow any threat to our interests in the region to go unchallenged”.
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