In a significant revelation, US national security adviser Jake Sullivan announced on Sunday that the United States is observing an "elevated risk" of a potential spillover conflict in the Middle East. The alert stems from recent activities of Iranian proxies targeting American troops who are currently stationed in the region.
A Growing Concern: Troop Security and Regional Stability
Speaking on CBS’ “Face the Nation”, Sullivan remarked, “We are vigilant, because we are seeing elevated threats against our forces throughout the region and an elevated risk of this conflict spreading to other parts of the region.
We are doing everything in our power to deter and prevent that." This statement comes on the heels of the US action in eastern Syria last week. The US military had executed airstrikes, targeting two facilities believed to be connected to Iranian-backed militias.
This move was in response to a series of drone and rocket attacks targeted at US forces stationed in the region. According to US intelligence, these facilities were linked to Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps and its affiliated groups.
Fortunately, the airstrikes did not result in any casualties, as per the US assessment.
A Message to Tehran: The US Will Respond
When probed about the US's stance on the Iranian proxies in the region, Sullivan did not mince words.
Speaking on ABC, he declared, “If attacks continue, we will respond, and I think the Iranians understand our message”. Moreover, he stressed the US's commitment to the security of its forces and the broader regional stability.
"We, of course, are taking every measure necessary to protect our forces, to increase our vigilance and to work with other countries in the region to try to keep this conflict that is currently in Israel and Gaza from spinning out into a regional conflict,” said Sullivan.
Emphasizing the criticality of the situation, he concluded, “But the risk is real, and therefore, vigilance is high, and the steps that we are taking to deter that and prevent that are serious, systematic and ongoing”.
As the situation in the Middle East remains tense, all eyes are on the unfolding developments, waiting to see if diplomatic efforts can prevail over rising military tensions.