May 29, 2023

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Biden offers first remarks on airstrikes: We don’t ‘seek conflict with Iran’

President Biden on Friday said that the United States does not seek conflict with Iran, while offering his first response about the airstrikes the U.S. conducted in Syria after an Iranian drone hit Americans.

“To make no mistake, the United States does not—does not, emphasize— seek conflict with Iran,” Biden said during a press conference with Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau in Ottawa. “But be prepared for us to act forcefully to protect our people. That’s exactly what happened last night.”

“We’re going to continue to keep up our efforts to counter terrorist threats in the region in partnerships with Canada and other members of the coalition to defeat ISIS,” the president added.

The U.S. airstrike in Syria was on Iranian-affiliated facilities, CNN reported, and it was authorized by Biden after the Iranian drone on Thursday had hit a facility that houses U.S. personnel.

Biden, during the press conference, said he spoke to his national security team ahead of the U.S. conducting the airstrike.

He also offered his condolences to the family of the American contractor who was killed and a speedy recovery for those wounded, which reportedly includes five U.S. service members.

Following the U.S. airstrike, another round of rockets targeting U.S. forces were reportedly launched by what officials say are groups affiliated with Iran.

The Pentagon also said earlier on Friday that the U.S. does not want conflict with Iran.

“We don’t see escalation with Iran,” a Pentagon spokesman said. “But the strikes that we took last night were intended to send a very clear message that we will take the protection of our personnel seriously and that we will respond quickly and decisively if they’re threatened.”

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