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Pentagon vows more strikes against Iran-backed groups, rejects open-ended campaign

The Pentagon says it isn't planning for an open-ended campaign of retaliation against Iran-backed groups, even as Israel vows to expand its war in Gaza on to the Rafah area.
A Royal Air Force Typhoon FRG4s is being prepared to conduct further strikes against Houthi military targets in Yemen at RAF Akrotiri on Feb. 3, 2024.

WASHINGTON — Pentagon officials won’t say how long the US military plans to sustain its campaign of airstrikes against Iran-backed factions in Iraq, Syria and Yemen after last week’s round of sorties failed to halt attacks by those groups.

Pentagon press secretary Maj. Gen. Patrick Ryder on Monday said the Pentagon hasn’t planned for an open-ended campaign against Iran-backed factions, but refused to provide a timeline for how long the US strikes may continue.

“This is the start of our response, and there will be additional actions taken,” Ryder told reporters. “I’m just not going to go into timelines or forecast potential actions.”

“If our forces are threatened, we'll take appropriate action. To be clear, our goal is not, ‘Okay, game on. Let's just do this and go full-scale war against Iranian proxy groups in Iraq and Syria.’ That's not what we're there for.”

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