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Pence Warns Iran, Hizballah On Anniversary of 1983 Beirut Attack


U.S. Vice President Mike Pence speaks at the Marine barracks to commemorate the anniversary of the 1983 bombing of the Marine barracks in Beirut on October 23.

U.S. Vice President Mike Pence has issued fresh warnings to Iran and militants in Lebanon's Shi'ite Hizballah movement.

Pence made the remarks in Washington on October 23 in a speech marking the 34th anniversary of the bombing of a U.S. Marine compound in Lebanon's capital, Beirut, that killed 241 U.S. and 58 French soldiers -- an attack that Washington blames on Hizballah and their Iranian backers.

"Thirty-four years ago today, America was thrust into war with an enemy unlike any we had ever faced," Pence said. "The Beirut barracks bombing was the opening salvo in a war that we have waged ever since -- the global war on terror."

Pence said President Donald Trump's administration has redoubled the U.S. commitment to "cripple Hizballah's terrorist network and bring its leaders to justice."

That includes a $7 million reward for information that leads to Talal Hamiyah, the alleged head of Hizballah's External Security Organization, and another $5 million for information on a senior military commander in Hizballah, Fuad Shukr.

Pence described Shukr as "one of the masterminds behind the bombing of the Marine Corps barracks" in 1983.

He also called Hizballah a "terrorist group [that] is merely a proxy for the leading state sponsor of terrorism," referring to Iran.

"President Donald Trump has put Iran on notice that we will no longer tolerate their destabilizing activities or their support of terrorism across the region and across the world," the vice president said.

"This president will not sit idly by while the ayatollahs in Tehran plot more attacks like the horrific attack that we remember" in Beirut, Pence added.

Based on reporting by AP and AFP
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