The US is working to send a “strong” message of deterrence to Iran as concerns of a wider regional conflict escalate, the White House said Monday.
“We’re certainly going to act — if we have to— to continue to protect our troops and our facilities. We have proven that we will strike and act to do that. And that's a strong message that Iran needs to take away. We take those responsibilities seriously,” said John Kirby, National Security Council coordinator for strategic communications.
“We also take our national security interest writ large in the region very seriously, which is why the president has now employed two aircraft carrier strike groups … We've got to make sure we send a signal to all actors, not just Iran, but all actors, certainly Iran included, that we will take our national security interest very seriously. We will protect and defend our troops. And we'll do it at a time in a manner of our choosing,” he told CNN.
Remember: Iran's President Ebrahim Raisi said Sunday that Israel has "crossed the red lines" and it "may force everyone to take action." There are concerns that Israel's fierce military campaign in Gaza will open up more fronts. There are already crossfire exchanges on northern Israel and southern Lebanon border — separate from Israel's fighting with Hamas farther south, which is centered around Gaza. But an uptick in clashes with Hezbollah has raised fears that the powerful Lebanese paramilitary group could actively participate in the conflict. It comes as the US national security adviser warned of an "elevated risk" of the war expanding into a broader Middle East conflict.