WASHINGTON – The recent deaths of three US soldiers and the wounding of many more in an attack by Iran-backed militants have increased political pressure on President Joe Biden to take decisive action against Iran. Biden has been hesitant to directly engage Iran, fearing the potential for a broader conflict.
Since the Israel-Hamas conflict in October, American forces in the Middle East have faced over 150 attacks by Iran-backed groups in Iraq, Syria, Jordan, and off Yemen’s coast.
However, Sunday’s strike at Tower 22, a remote outpost near the Jordan-Syria border, marked the first such attack to result in American fatalities and significant injuries.
This escalation narrows Biden’s leeway in balancing retaliation against Iran-backed forces and avoiding direct conflict with Tehran.
Biden has promised a response but has not disclosed details.
Republicans criticize Biden’s approach, arguing it leaves US troops vulnerable. They point to Sunday’s drone attack near a base as evidence and demand forceful retaliation against Iran.
Quoted by Reuters, Senator Tom Cotton (R) asserts that military action against Iran and its regional forces is necessary.
Representative Mike Rogers (R), leading the House military oversight committee, also advocates for action against Tehran. Former US President Donald Trump, potential Biden’s rival in the upcoming presidential election, deems the attack a result of Biden’s perceived weakness.
The Biden administration maintains its commitment to protecting US troops globally. Meanwhile, Democratic Representative Barbara Lee expresses concern that the strategy to contain the Israel-Hamas conflict is faltering, potentially escalating to a regional war and endangering US forces. She reiterates the need for a ceasefire in the Israel-Palestine conflict.