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Speaker Johnson’s Handling of Middle East Strikes Described as ‘Unusual’ by Biden Adviser

The White House national security adviser, Jake Sullivan, addressed criticism from House Speaker Mike Johnson.

Johnson expressed concerns about the timing of the administration’s response to the killing of three U.S. troops in the Middle East last week.

Retaliatory Airstrikes in Syria and Iraq

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In retaliation for an attack on a base in Jordan, the U.S. initiated airstrikes on Iranian-backed groups in Syria and Iraq.

This marked the first round of military action in response to the recent events.

Speaker Johnson’s Concerns

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House Speaker Mike Johnson expressed concern, stating that the administration delayed its response to the deadly drone strike in Jordan. He emphasized the need for a clear and forceful reaction from the U.S. government.

Sullivan Responds to Criticism

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National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan dismissed Johnson’s claims. Sullivan stated that the President had communicated the intention to respond to any attacks before the incident in Jordan, thereby rejecting the notion of a delayed response.

Presidential Directive

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Sullivan emphasized that the President had provided a clear directive, specifying that the U.S. would respond to attacks.

Additionally, he highlighted that the recent airstrikes were planned at a time and place of the administration’s choosing.

Precision and Planning

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Sullivan highlighted that the U.S. executed the airstrikes with precision, hitting specific targets identified by the President’s commanders.

This showcased the military’s capability to respond effectively to threats.

Assessment of Militia Casualties

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U.S. forces are currently assessing the number of casualties among the Iranian-backed militia groups targeted in the strikes.

Officials expressed confidence in the impact on degrading the capabilities of these groups.

Pentagon’s Statement

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The Pentagon reported hitting more than 85 targets in the initial round of strikes in Iraq and Syria against Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps Quds Force and affiliated militia groups.

This underscores the severity and scope of the military action taken.

Continuing Action

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Sullivan confirmed that the administration is “confident” in the steps taken so far.

Additionally, he announced the intention to continue with additional strikes, emphasizing a commitment to respond when U.S. forces are attacked or lives are lost.

U.S. and UK Joint Action in Yemem

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The U.S. and the United Kingdom launched a second round of strikes against 13 locations associated with Iran-backed Houthis in Yemen.

This action was in response to ongoing missile and drone attacks in the Red Sea region.

Disruption of Trade Routes

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Recent Houthi attacks in the Red Sea disrupted trade routes and destabilized the region.

This prompted joint action by the U.S. and the UK to address the escalating situation.

Ongoing Commitment

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In a final note, Sullivan confirmed that the actions on Friday were just the beginning.

This signaled an ongoing commitment to respond to threats against U.S. forces and interests in the Middle East.

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