Secretary of State Antony Blinken warned that the Middle East is in the most severe turmoil since the Yom Kippur War in 1973 when Egypt and Syria launched a surprise attack on Israel.
‘I think it’s very important to note that this is an incredibly volatile time in the Middle East,’ Blinken said at a joint press conference with NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg Monday.
‘I would argue that we’ve not seen a situation as – as dangerous as the one we’re facing now across the region since at least 1973 and arguably even – even before that.’
Blinken’s stark warning was referring to the two-week-long war that began on October 6 1973, when Israel faught off a surprise attack by the the Arab coalition on the Jewish holy day of Yom Kippur.
Blinken’s comments come in the wake of the Iran drone attack that killed three American soldiers in Jordan over the weekend.
Over 3,000 militants invaded Israel from the land, sea and air in over 20 communities near the border and at the Nova music festival in Re’im
He was referring to the two-week-long war that began on October 6 1973, when Israel faught off a surprise attack by the the Arab coalition on the Jewish holy day of Yom Kippur
‘That is the environment in which we’re operating,’ Blinken added. ‘And of course, that was triggered by the horrific attacks of October 7th by Hamas against innocent men, women and children.’
Blinken highlighted the volatile situation – reaffirming the United States’ commitment to defending its people, personnel, and interests, noting actions taken to deter and degrade capabilities in Iraq, Syria, and Yemen.
‘We’ve made very, very clear from day one that we’re going to defend our people. We’re going to defend our personnel, we’re going to defend our interests. And that’s exactly what we’ve done.’
‘We’ve taken action and significant action to deter groups to degrade their capabilities in Iraq, in Syria, in Yemen,’ he said. ‘At the same time, the president’s been very clear that we want to prevent broader escalation. We want to prevent this conflict from spreading, so we are intent on doing both.’
Secretary of State Antony Blinken has issued a stark warning – stating that the Middle East is in the most severe turmoil since the Yom Kippur War in 1973
Blinken highlighted the volatile situation – reaffirming the United States’ commitment to defending its people, personnel, and interests, noting actions taken to deter and degrade capabilities in Iraq , Syria, and Yemen
Blinken emphasized the unprecedented danger in the region, with the recent Iran drone attack in Jordan that claimed the lives of three American soldiers, escalating tensions – and promised a strong response if this was used to further instability in the region or as an excuse to attack personnel.
‘That is standing up for our people when they’re attacked, while at the same time working every single day to prevent the conflict from growing and spreading. And that’s exactly what we’ll continue to do.’
‘It’s fundamentally what’s in the interest of the United States, what’s in the interests of the region. And I think what’s in the interest of the world,’ said Blinken.
‘But the president said this, I think virtually from – from day one to anyone who would try to use the crisis in the Middle East, the conflict in the Middle East to sow further instability and to use it as an excuse to attack our personnel, we will respond.’
‘We will respond strongly. We will respond at a time and place of our choosing. And obviously, I’m not going to telegraph what — what we might do in this instance or get ahead of the president.’
‘But I can again tell you that as the president said yesterday, we will respond and that response could be multi-leveled, come in stages and be sustained over time.’
Blinken also addressed concerns regarding the UN Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNWRA), acknowledging the disturbing reports that employees participated in Oct. 7 attacks and urging a thorough investigation
Blinken also addressed concerns regarding the UN Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNWRA), acknowledging the troubling reports that employees participated in Oct. 7 attacks and urging a thorough investigation.
‘With regard to UNWRA the reports that we got last week and UNWRA brought them to us were deeply, deeply troubling. It is imperative that UNWRA immediately, as it said it would investigate that it hold people accountable as necessary and that it review its procedures.’
He called for accountability and measures to prevent future illegal activity while simultaneously emphasizing the importance of UNWRA’s role in providing assistance to those in need in Gaza.
He claimed the US will be ‘looking very hard’ at the steps that the UNWRA takes again to ensure it is ‘fully and thoroughly investigated, that there’s clear accountability and that is necessary, measures are put in place so that this doesn’t happen again.’
‘At the same time,’ he said, ‘ The UNWRA has played and continues to play an absolutely indispensable role in trying to make sure that men, women and children who so desperately need assistance in Gaza actually get it. And no one else can play the role that UNRWA’s been playing. Certainly not in the — in the near term.’
‘No one has the — the reach, the capacity, the structure to do what UNRWA’s been doing. And from our perspective, it’s important, more than an important imperative that, that, that role continues. So that only underscores the importance of UNWRA tackling this uh as quickly as effectively. And as thoroughly as possible and that’s what we’re looking for.’
The UN’s agency for Palestinian refugees has launched a probe last week into 12 employees suspected of being involved in the Hamas October 7 terror attacks.
Announcing it had opened the investigation, the UNRWA said on Friday that is had also severed ties with the suspected staff members.
The October 7 attack, committed by Hamas terrorists, left 1,200 Israelis dead
Philippe Lazzarini, UNRWA Commissioner-General, (pictured) did not specify how many employees were implicated in the scandal
While Philippe Lazzarini, UNRWA Commissioner-General, did not specify how many employees were implicated in the scandal, the US State Department said that 12 employees were involved.
‘The Israeli authorities have provided UNRWA with information about the alleged involvement of several UNRWA employees in the horrific attacks on Israel on October 7,’ said Lazzarini.
‘To protect the agency’s ability to deliver humanitarian assistance, I have taken the decision to immediately terminate the contracts of these staff members and launch an investigation in order to establish the truth without delay,’ he added.
A damning dossier revealed the participation of UNRWA staff involved in committing atrocious acts against Israel during the October 7 Hamas attacks,
Members of the UNRWA took part in killings, kidnappings and arming terrorists during raids on settlements, the explosive document alleges.
One worker allegedly took part in one of the kibbutz massacres that killed 97 of the 1,200 Israeli victims that day, another is accused of kidnapping an Israeli woman into Gaza, while one more is said to have handed out rocket-propelled grenades during the bloody ambush.
Israel vowed on Saturday to ban the UN aid agency from operating in Gaza after the war ends.
Over 3,000 militants invaded Israel from the land, sea and air in over 20 communities near the border and at the Nova music festival in Re’im.
Hamas ‘slaughtered, tortured, raped, burned alive and mutilated over 1,200 people including infants, children, the elderly and people with disabilities, and kidnapped over 250 people into Gaza.
The October 7 attack, committed by Hamas terrorists, left more than 1,200 Israelis dead.