US President Joe Biden suddenly ended his remarks at a White House news conference on Monday, apologizing and telling journalists he was going to the Situation Room for “another issue I have to deal with.”
BIDEN: "I apologize. I have to go to the situation room, I have another issue that I have to deal with." pic.twitter.com/QOoRnUDSsz
— Breaking911 (@Breaking911) October 23, 2023
The president provided no further details, but one possible reason emerged within hours later, against the background of a Middle East that is rapidly heating up in multiple sectors.
US military bases in eastern Syria and Iraq were hit Monday by a coordinated missile and drone attack.
US troops at the Al Tanf base came under attack this morning (Oct 23) by two drones which were shot down before making impact inside the base. This is the second attack on Al Tanf in 3 days and comes after Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin said this morning that the US "won't… pic.twitter.com/GHeUvRzaZG
— Israel-Alma (@Israel_Alma_org) October 23, 2023
Three American military bases came under simultaneous missile fire Monday by pro-Iranian militias, while two US bases were attacked with combat drones, the Turkish Anadolu Agency reported.
Local sources quoted by the news agency said ground-to-ground missile fire was directed at US bases in Al-Shaddadi, Al-Hasakah and in the Al-Omar gas and oil field in Deir ez-Zor.
The missile attacks were carried out by the Ashab Al Kahf terrorist organization, according to the Iraqi Shia group’s media arm. Ashab Al Kahf is an Iranian proxy.
Armed drones were used to attack US bases in the Al-Malakyiah area of Al-Hasakah and in the Al-Tanf region of southern Syria, according to multiple reports. Al-Tanf is the site of the largest natural gas field in Syria.
The Islamic Resistance of #Iraq—a coalition of #Iranian-backed Iraqi militias—expanded the locations of its attacks against US forces in #Syria on October 23. https://t.co/lt0rC7UXbC https://t.co/HeR7Sfj6cu pic.twitter.com/XLCDCeuBqW
— ISW (@TheStudyofWar) October 24, 2023
On October 20, US forces came under attack at the Al Omar gas and oil field in northeastern Syria, Al Tanf in Syria, the Al Assad Air Base in Iraq, and the Conoco gas field – Syria’s largest natural gas field – according to the ALMA organization. All the attacks emanated from territory controlled by Iranian proxies.
Initial reports that US forces have come under attack at the Al Omar oil field in northeastern Syria from projectiles impacting their position. Earlier, the Al Assad Air Base hosting US Forces in Iraq had repelled a UAV attack, and other American units at Al Tanf, Syria, and… pic.twitter.com/BTjv5uMfQu
— Israel-Alma (@Israel_Alma_org) October 19, 2023
Iranian-backed militias in Iraq also released footage three days ago (Oct. 21) showing multiple drone attacks on the US base near Erbil airport in Iraq.
Iranian militias in Iraq release footage of the launch of drones towards the US base at Erbil airport tonight. Judging by the few frames of the drones we see, they look like Iranian 'Ababil' ('Qasef' in Yemen) drones. pic.twitter.com/27YcKeqDJc
— Kyle Glen (@KyleJGlen) October 21, 2023
Five days ago, a US Navy warship operating in the Red Sea intercepted multiple missiles reportedly fired towards Israel by the Iranian-backed Houthis in Yemen.
Two weeks ago (Oct. 7), more than a thousand Israeli civilians were murdered by Hamas terrorists in a barbaric, ISIS-style invasion of some two dozen Jewish villages along the Gaza border, igniting Operation Iron Swords, Israel’s war to eliminate the Iranian proxy.
Hamas terrorist in leaked interrogation video: “the commander told us to stomp in their heads, behead them. Do whatever you want with them… chop off their legs".
Hamas is ISIS!!! pic.twitter.com/swik6cMHW4
— יוסף חדאד – Yoseph Haddad (@YosephHaddad) October 23, 2023
Hamas operatives abducted more than 220 Israelis and dual nationals, including some they had already murdered, and dragged them into Gaza where they are being held captive. Following intense pressure by the United States, Qatar and Egypt, four hostages — a dual US- Israeli mother and her daughter, and two Israeli women in their eighties — were released to the Red Cross, and transferred to Israeli territory.
The fate of the remaining hostages — and four others held by Hamas since 2014 — is still unknown.