Read at Washington Post
Secretary of State Antony Blinken arrived in Saudi Arabia on Monday to address the ongoing attacks between US forces and Iranian-backed proxy groups. Despite targeting militias in Syria and Iraq, the US is ultimately seeking a de-escalation against Iranian-aligned groups. Blinken's team argues that the recent US strikes on militia targets was a proportional response to the killing of three US service members on January 28. The US has chosen not to strike targets inside Iran as it could lead to bolder attacks on US personnel in the region.
"The United States does not want to see the conflict escalated" and "will not escalate the conflict," a senior State Department official told reporters on Blinken's plane en route to the Saudi capital.
The Houthis, an Iran-aligned group in Yemen, have stated that they will continue to target commercial vessels and fire on US assets until a cease-fire is agreed upon in Gaza. Meanwhile, there have been calls from several Republicans in Congress to strike targets inside Iran, but the US has declined to do so.
The United States has declined to strike targets inside Iran despite calls to do so by several Republicans in Congress.