Prominent Republican lawmakers were quick to criticize Friday’s airstrikes in Iraq and Syria as insufficient following the deaths of three U.S. soldiers in Jordan this week.
In the first of multiple rounds of expected retaliatory actions, U.S. bomber aircraft hit more than 85 targets connected to the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps’ Quds Force and “affiliated militia groups,” the U.S. military said in a statement. The Quds Force is Iran’s primary unit charged with conducting covert operations outside Iran.
“It is past time for our commander-in-chief to adopt a new approach that targets the actual sponsors of terrorism in the region,” Wicker, the lead Republican on the Senate Armed Service Committee, said in a statement.
“The Biden admin must be decisive with sustained retaliatory strikes and begin to enforce oil and other sanctions to cut off the source of terror funding,” McCaul, the chair of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, said in a statement.
Sen. Deb Fischer (R-Neb.), a member of the SASC, said: “These strikes, announced well in advance, likely did not accomplish nearly enough to stop Iran’s axis. Whatever next steps the President takes must be significantly stronger.”
Sen. Joni Ernst (R-Iowa), also a SASC member, posted: “Finally. Iran needs to know the price for American lives.”
Sen. Pete Ricketts (R-Neb.), posted: “To restore effective deterrence, President Biden must hit Iran where it hurts. Weak, telegraphed responses will not cut it. We need leadership, not appeasement.”
However, Sen. Jack Reed (D-R.I.), SASC chair, said in a statement: “This was a strong, proportional response. In fact, the 85 targets struck tonight mark a greater number than the prior administration. Iran’s proxy forces in Syria and Iraq have been dealt a significant blow, and Iranian-linked militias around the Middle East should understand that they, too, will be held accountable.”
Military veterans from both parties were quick to air their opinions.
Rep. Mike Waltz (R-Fla.), a former member of the U.S. Army Special Forces, posted: “It’s a huge expenditure of precision munitions from increasingly depleted stockpiles that are needed in the Indo-Pacific.”
Navy veteran Rep. Jen Kiggans (D-Va.) wrote that the strikes must “kneecap” Iran’s presence and threats against Americans.
Meanwhile, Rep. Austin Scott (D-Ga.), a member of the House Armed Services Committee, wrote in a post: “I applaud the bravery and skill of @CENTCOM, who carried out multiple airstrikes against Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC) Quds Force and affiliated militia groups today.”
Rep. Nancy Mace (R-S.C.) posted that Biden, in ordering the strikes, had “circumvented Congress.”
“Our troops need to come home. Our president needs to follow the constitution,” she added.
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