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Former NATO ambassador on airstrikes in Iraq, Syria: US sent specific message by not targeting Iran

Former NATO Ambassador Kurt Volker said the Biden administration sent a specific message by not targeting Iran in recent airstrikes.

“I suspect that what the administration is trying to do by not hitting Iran, is to send a signal to Iran, ‘Don’t hit us on our homeland, particularly during an election year,’” Volker said in a recent interview on “On Balance with Leland Vittert.”

The U.S. on Friday began airstrikes on groups supported by Iran in Syria and Iraq, in retaliation for a recent attack on a base in Jordan that killed three U.S. service members.

“I think they are trying to say … ‘You hit our guys overseas, we will hit your proxies overseas. Shut this down, don’t do it anymore,’” Volker continued.

U.S. Central Command (CENTCOM) announced it began airstrikes Friday evening in Iraq and Syria against Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps Quds Force “and affiliated militia groups.”

“U.S. military forces struck more than 85 targets, with numerous aircraft to include long-range bombers flown from the United States,” CENTCOM said in a statement. “The airstrikes employed more than 125 precision munitions.”

Former Defense Secretary Mark Esper also spoke about the recent strikes in an interview with CNN’s Abby Phillip.

“I was pleased to see that in the statement by U.S. Central Command that they said they did attack Quds Force’s sites,” Esper said on “The Lead.”

White House national security spokesperson John Kirby said the strikes were meant to reduce capabilities and deter Iran and groups it supports from attacking Americans.

“We believe that these targets fell into exactly that criteria,” he said. “And the goal here is to get these attacks to stop. We’re not looking for a war with Iran.”

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