Biden on whether US is in proxy war with Iran: ‘No’


President Biden said Friday that he does not believe the United States is in a proxy war with Iran, following strikes against Houthi rebels in Yemen.

Biden was asked during a stop at a small business in Allentown, Pa., whether the U.S. was engaged in a proxy war and simply responded, “No.”

He said the strikes launched against the Iranian-backed Houthis late Thursday, which were conducted in coordination with U.S. allies, were successful, noting he did not believe there had been any civilian casualties.

“We will make sure that we respond to the Houthis if they continue this outrageous behavior, along with our allies,” the president said.

The U.S. and the U.K. bombed more than a dozen sites in Yemen on Thursday used by the Iranian-backed Houthis. Biden said in a statement following the news that the actions were taken “in direct response to unprecedented Houthi attacks” in the Red Sea that threatened U.S. personnel, civilians and trade in the region.

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White House spokesperson John Kirby said Biden made the decision to approve the strikes after the Tuesday attacks. The president called his national security team together that afternoon, Kirby said, and was presented with response options and approved those options “at that time.”

Kirby added that the White House is “very comfortable and confident in the legal authorities that the president exercised to conduct these strikes.”

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