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Blinken, Austin say US is ready to respond if US personnel become targets of Israel-Hamas war

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Rehoboth Beach, Oct 23 : Secretary of State Antony Blinken and Secretary Lloyd Austin said on Sunday that the United States expects the Israel-Hamas war to escalate through involvement by proxies of Iran, and they asserted that the Biden administration is prepared to respond if American personnel or armed forces become the target of any such hostilities.

“This is not what we want, not what we're looking for. We don't want escalation,” Blinken said. “We don't want to see our forces or our personnel come under fire. But if that happens, we're ready for it.”

Austin, echoing Blinken, said “what we're seeing is a prospect of a significant escalation of attacks on our troops and our people throughout the region.” He said the US has the right to self-defence “and we won't hesitate to take the appropriate action”.

The warning from the high-ranking US officials came as Israel's military response to a deadly October 7 attack by Hamas on civilians in communities in southern Israel entered its third week.

Blinken, who recently spent several days in the region, spoke of a “likelihood of escalation” while saying no one wants to see a second or third front to the hostilities between Israel and Hamas, which rules Gaza.

The secretary said he expects “escalation by Iranian proxies directed against our forces, directed against our personnel,” and added: “We are taking steps to make sure that we can effectively defend our people and respond decisively if we need to.”

Northlines
Northlines
The Northlines is an independent source on the Web for news, facts and figures relating to Jammu, Kashmir and Ladakh and its neighbourhood.

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