President Biden’s decision to order an airstrike in Syria in retaliation for recent attacks on American service members was met with praise from top Republicans.
House Foreign Affairs Committee ranking member Rep. Michael McCaul, R-Texas, and Rep. French Hill, R-Ark., applauded the airstrike Biden ordered against Iranian-backed militia members Thursday night
McCaul said he had “called on” Biden’s administration to “respond to the recent attacks on U.S. and coalition targets,” adding: “I commend them for doing just that.”
“Responses like this are a necessary deterrent and remind Iran, its proxies, and our adversaries around the world that attacks on U.S. interests will not be tolerated,” McCaul continued. “I thank [Biden] and our service members for protecting Americans overseas.”
“Iranian leaders may have left their people behind but America has not,” Hill wrote on Twitter.
“Iranian-backed militia’s recent attacks on U.S.-led bases will not be tolerated, and @POTUS should continue to meet similar threats and actions with swift justice,” the Arkansas Republican continued.
Sens. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., and Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., also weighed in on the Biden administration’s strike on Twitter, with Rubio calling the attack “targeted, proportional and necessary.”
Graham similarly applauded Biden’s decision to call in the airstrike.
“Appreciate Biden Administration striking Iranian-backed militia groups in Syria who’ve been pushing attacks against American forces in Iraq and other locations,” the South Carolina senator wrote on Twitter. “It is imperative that our enemies know that attacking Americans comes at a cost.”
“Very supportive of this strike and hope it will create necessary deterrence in the future,” Graham added.
On Thursday night, U.S. Armed Forces carried out an airstrike against Kait’ib Sayyid al Shuhada and Kait’ib Hezbollah — two Iraqi border-based militant Shia groups who are suspected of taking money from the Iranian Revolutionary Guard.
The airstrike was the first known major military move Biden made in his administration. The move came after American forces in the Green Zone were targeted with multiple attacks, including two rockets that fell near the American embassy in Baghdad.
The Green Zone houses governmental buildings, including the American embassy. The rocket attack was the third attack in a week and saw no casualties. A previous rocket attack in Erbil had taken the life of a civilian contractor as well as injured several others and an American service member.
A senior official said the action was a defensive one meant for deterrence and called the attack “a shot across the bow.”
“These strikes were authorized in response to recent attacks against American and coalition personnel in Iraq, and to ongoing threats to those personnel,” Pentagon press secretary John Kirby said Thursday.
Former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo also weighed in on the Biden administration’s airstrike in an appearance on Fox News’ “The Ingraham Angle,” saying that, as president, “you’ve got to protect your force.”
“I don’t know what they struck or what targets they went after,” Pompeo added.
“I hope it just wasn’t bombs in the desert. I hope it really went after something that threatened the United States of America. If not, it’s useless.”
Caitlin McFall and Jennifer Griffin contributed reporting