(CNSNews.com) – “The United States will always act decisively to protect our people,” Biden administration spokesman John Kirby said on Sunday, following three attacks late last week on U.S. targets in Syria by Iran-backed militant groups.
Those three attacks came after President Biden ordered airstrikes against Iranian-linked groups in Syria, in response to Thursday’s drone attack on a U.S. base in northeast Syria that killed an American contractor and wounded five U.S. service members and another contractor.
On Sunday, Rep. Mike Gallagher (R-Wis.) told ABC’s “This Week” that the United States must do more to deter Iranian aggression:
“Well, I think we should be concerned that our deterrent posture vis-a-vis Iran is crumbling,” Gallagher said:
“We can’t afford another failure of deterrence like that which we saw in Ukraine.
“Some practical steps going forward, in my opinion, would be to reimpose a policy of maximum economic pressure, abandon an attempt to resuscitate the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, as well as force the Pentagon to deliver something they’re late on, which is a report on the U.S.-Israeli Technology Working Group, which should have a suite of practical proposals for how we can turbo-charge our technological cooperation with the Israelis, help them better defend against the threat of missiles, help us better defend against the threat of Iranian missiles or Iranian proxy militias.
“So, very concerning, more we need to do. And we need to have a clear idea of the regime we’re facing in Tehran.”
Gallagher chairs the new House committee on China and he also sits on the House Armed Services and intelligence committees.
Rep. Raja Krishnamoorthi (D-Ill.), joining Gallagher on “This Week,” said the presence of 900 American troops in Syria provides “targets of opportunity for these Iranian-backed militias.”
“But we’re not going anywhere. We have to stay in northern Syria and work with our partners in Iraq as well in fighting ISIS. And I think the Biden administration did exactly what it had to do in responding to these Iranian militias.
“I believe there have been 78 attacks by these militias during the Trump administration and now the Biden administration. And, unfortunately, we’re going to have to deal with them appropriately, but we’re not leaving that part of the world as we deal with ISIS.”
(As CNSNews reported, in congressional testimony last Thursday, CENTCOM Commander U.S. Army Gen. Michael Kurilla disclosed that, since the beginning of 2021, U.S. troops in Syria and Iraq have been attacked by Iranian proxies, using drones or rockets, “about 78 times.” Asked whether those attacks were considered acts of war by Iran, Kurilla replied, “They are being done by the Iranian proxies, is what I will tell you.”)
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