Biden says he knows how he is going to respond to US troop deaths, but he doesn't want a wider war

  • Biden said he has a response planned following the drone attack on a US base in Jordan.

  • Republicans have been putting mounting pressure on Biden to take action against Iran.

  • Biden said he does not support greater conflict in the Middle East.

President Joe Biden said he has decided how his administration will respond to the drone strike that killed three US service members and injured at least 40 in Jordan on Sunday.

Biden replied "Yes" but did not provide further details of what his administration will do when he was asked whether or not he had decided on a US response to the encounter during a Tuesday press briefing.

While Biden said he does hold Iran responsible for supplying weapons to those who attacked the US base, he stressed that he does not think "we need a wider war in the Middle East."

"That's not what I'm looking for," he said.

Prior to the briefing, Republicans, such as presidential candidate Nikki Haley, called on the president to take out Iranian leaders who supported the attack while also strengthening sanctions and eliminating production facilities.

Others have made similar arguments. "Hit Iran now. Hit them hard," Sen. Lindsey Graham wrote on X, the social media platform formerly known as Twitter.

"The only answer to these attacks must be devastating military retaliation against Iran's terrorist forces, both in Iran and across the Middle East, another Republican, Sen. Tom Cotton, said. "Anything less will confirm Joe Biden as a coward unworthy of being commander-in-chief."

Other Republicans have voiced calls for a tough response. Democrats, however, have taken a more cautious stance in some of their responses.

Biden has promised that the US will retaliate in response to the drone strike and on Monday, Biden blamed the strike on "radical Iran-backed militant groups operating in Syria and Iraq."

On if there was a direct link between the attack and Iran, Biden said Tuesday: "We'll have that discussion."

The Pentagon stated on Monday that Iran has provided arms to various militia groups, including the one that attacked the US base in Jordan.

"Iran continues to arm and equip these groups to launch these attacks, and we will certainly hold them responsible," Pentagon spokesperson Sabrina Singh said on Monday.

Iran has denied any involvement in the attack. Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesperson Nasser Kanaani called the allegations of Iran's involvement in the attack "baseless" in a statement.

On Monday, the Defense Department identified the three US service members who were killed as Army reservists Sgt. William Jerome Rivers, Spc. Kennedy Ladon Sanders, and Spc. Breonna Alexsondria Moffett.

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