White House says US ‘does not seek war with Iran’ after Biden launches airstrikes in retaliation for death of US contractor by Iranian suicide drone in Syria
- The White House said on Friday that the United States did not seek conflict with Iran.
- President Joe Biden launched a retaliatory airstrike after an American contractor was killed in Syria on Thursday by an Iranian drone
- “We are not looking for a war with Iran. We are not looking for an armed conflict with this country or another war in the region,’ NSC spokesman John Kirby said.
The White House said on Friday the United States was not seeking conflict with Iran after President Joe Biden launched a retaliatory airstrike against an American contractor killed in Syria by an Iranian drone.
An Iranian suicide drone on Thursday killed a contractor and injured five US servicemen at a maintenance facility at a coalition base near al-Hasakah in northeastern Syria.
Biden responded by deploying “precision airstrikes” against facilities used by groups affiliated with Iran’s Revolutionary Guard Corps, killing 11 pro-Iranian fighters. Iran-backed fighters responded by firing three rockets on Friday morning.
National Security Council spokesman John Kirby appeared on US morning shows on Friday and was asked on CNN whether Iran might view the recent attacks as an “act of war.”
“We are not looking for a war with Iran. We are not looking for an armed conflict with this country or another war in the region,” Kirby said.
National Security Council spokesman John Kirby said Friday morning: “We are not looking for a war with Iran. We are not looking for an armed conflict with this country or another war in the region’
“We seek to protect our mission in Syria, which is to defeat ISIS, and we seek to protect our people in our facilities from these Iranian-backed groups,” Kirby added.
He could not give details of the identity of the American entrepreneur besides confirming that he was an American citizen.
“We try to give the family time and space here to grieve,” Kirby explained.
Militants launched the strikes just hours after President Biden ordered US Central Command forces to launch ‘precision airstrikes’ against facilities used by groups affiliated with Iran’s Revolutionary Guard Corps, killing 11 pro-Iranian fighters.
On MSNBC’s Morning Joe, Kirby said it was clear the Iran-backed group resented the US presence in the region.
“They don’t want to see the US presence in Iraq, they don’t want to see it in Syria and they are fighting back, they are acting to limit our ability to pursue ISIS in those two countries and to try to force our hand to leave. said Kirby.
He also said that the three rocket hits launched at the US base in the Al-Omar oil field did not cause any damage.
“It’s not uncommon for us to take a retaliatory strike like this only to have them immediately respond with ineffective rocket fire and those were largely, completely ineffective,” Kirby said. “No one was hurt, no American casualties at all.”
“It was kind of a knee-jerk reaction from these activist groups whenever we do this stuff,” he continued. “But having said that, obviously we will remain vigilant for any further response from Iran or their militant groups in Syria, Iraq.”