National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan on Sunday refused to rule out direct US airstrikes inside Iran while discussing the widespread bombing the US launched in Iraq and Syria on Friday.
Appearing on CNN’s “State of the Union,” Sullivan signaled the bombing campaign is not over, saying the US is planning “more actions.” When asked if the US has ruled out launching attacks on Iranian territory, he said, “Look, sitting on a national TV program, I’m not going to rule in and rule out any activity anywhere.”
The US launched the strikes in response to the drone attack that killed three US troops on a small base in Jordan on the Syrian border. The US blamed Iran for the attack because it arms the Shia militias the US believes were responsible but acknowledges it has no evidence Tehran was involved.
When announcing the strikes, US Central Command said it targeted “Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC) Quds Force and affiliated militia groups.” Direct US attacks on Iranian personnel risk provoking a major war with Iran, but so far, there’s no indication the US bombing killed any Iranians.
In Iraq, the Popular Mobilization Forces (PMF) said 16 of its members were killed in the strikes. The PMF is a coalition of Iraqi militias that was formed in 2014 to fight ISIS. The PMF is officially part of Iraq’s security forces and fought on the same side as the US in major battles against ISIS.
In Syria, unconfirmed reports say 23 people were killed. The Syrian government said some of its soldiers and civilians were killed but did not give a specific number.
Sullivan was asked if the US strikes killed any members of the IRGC. “We are still assessing the battle damage. Our CENTCOM, Central Command, is looking at the capabilities we have reduced and the casualties that were incurred,” he said.
Sullivan also claimed the US does not seek a “wider war” in the region even as it’s bombed Syria, Iraq, and Yemen and continues to back the Israeli slaughter in Gaza. “We are not looking to take the United States to war,” he said.