Calls for retaliation emerged from Republican members of Congress after U.S. Central Command disclosed on Sunday that three U.S. service members were killed in a drone attack at an American base in Jordan. The attack was attributed to Iranian-backed militias, prompting strong responses from politicians.
Senator Roger Wicker (R-Miss.), the ranking member on the Armed Services Committee, asserted the need to act decisively in response to the attacks that claimed American lives. He called for direct strikes against Iranian targets and leadership, emphasizing the urgency of a robust and visible response.
Other Senate Republicans echoed similar sentiments. Senator Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) emphasized that targeting Iranian proxies alone would not deter Iranian aggression, urging the Biden Administration to strike significant targets within Iran.
Senator Tom Cotton (R-Ark.) supported this stance, advocating for devastating military retaliation against Iran’s terrorist forces across the Middle East.
Senator John Cornyn (R-Texas) initially suggested targeting Tehran, later clarifying that it was not a call to bomb Iranian civilians. Republican House Speaker Mike Johnson emphasized the necessity of sending a clear message globally that attacks on U.S. troops would not be tolerated.
Majority Leader Steve Scalise expressed that the tragedy was avoidable, blaming President Biden for emboldening Iran and tolerating their aggression against U.S. troops. He urged the U.S. to demonstrate strength in response.
The House Intelligence Committee requested a briefing on the situation in Jordan, signaling a demand for comprehensive information on the incident.
Representative Mike Rogers (R-Ala.), chair of the House Armed Services Committee, called for holding the terrorist Iranian regime and its proxies accountable for the attacks against U.S. and coalition forces.
On the Democratic side, Representative Jim Himes (D-Conn.), ranking member of the House Permanent Select Intelligence Committee, expressed being heartbroken for the killed service members and urged the Biden administration to respond rapidly.
Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell called for action not only against the organizations carrying out the attacks but also against their Iranian sponsors.
In his statement on Sunday, President Joe Biden acknowledged that the attack was carried out by radical Iran-backed militant groups in Syria and Iraq. He pledged to hold all those responsible accountable at a time and in a manner of the U.S.’s choosing.
Both Biden and Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin vowed that the lethal attack would not go unanswered, emphasizing a commitment to taking all necessary actions.
Former President Donald Trump criticized Biden’s leadership, claiming that the attack would not have occurred under his administration. Republican members of Congress slammed Biden, linking his Middle East policies to the attacks and demanding retaliation against the perpetrators.
Vice President Kamala Harris expressed mourning for the lives lost and promised to hold those responsible to account. House Minority Leader Hakeem Jeffries echoed the sentiment of holding every responsible actor accountable.
Representative Dean Phillips cautioned that inaction could worsen the situation, highlighting ongoing provocations and kidnappings by Iranian proxies.
Several politicians, both Republican and Democratic, offered condolences to the families of the killed service members and emphasized the importance of holding those responsible accountable for the attack.