Alaska U.S. Sen. Dan Sullivan, a member of the Senate Armed Services Committee, said a red line has been crossed with the killing of three members of the U.S. military, in an attack by Iranian-backed proxies that wounded over two dozen more American military members.
It was the first time U.S. troops have been killed since Oct. 7, when Hamas invaded Israel, upsetting the fragile peace in the region. Since then, troops have warded off over 158 attacks on them by drones and missiles since The previous attacks only resulted in minor injuries and damage to American equipment and infrastructure.
An earlier version of this report mistakenly identified the men killed. The names will be updated here when available.
Update II: The fallen are Sgt. William Jerome Rivers, 46 Spc. Kennedy Ladon Sanders, 24 Spc. Breonna Alexsondria Moffett, 23.
“Our hearts today are with the family members of the three courageous service members who made the ultimate sacrifice in defense of our country and our allies. We also continue to pray as a nation for the heroes who are recovering from their injuries,” Sullivan told Must Read Alaska.
“Iranian terrorist proxies have crossed a red line with the reported killing of 3 brave U.S. service members and wounding of dozens more,” Sullivan said. “This strike, and the 150+ attacks our forces have sustained in recent months, shows the dangers of the Biden administration’s appeasement of Iran in the past three years and the administration’s total failure to enact deterrence in the region—something I’ve been pushing to reverse for years. The President needs to order a clear, lethal and overwhelming response that demonstrates to Iran and to the world that whoever targets our men and women in uniform—or supports these attacks—will face the full might of the U.S. military.”
Sullivan said just officially designating the Houthi rebels as terrorists is not nearly enough.
Sen. Roger Wicker, the ranking Republican member of the Armed Services Committee, also released a statement:
“It is time to act with purpose and resolve in response to attacks that have tragically taken the lives of American service members and injured scores more. We must respond to these repeated attacks by Iran and its proxies by striking directly against Iranian targets and its leadership. It is time to act swiftly and decisively for the whole world to see.”
Background, as provided by Sullivan’s office:
On Nov. 2, 2023, Sen. Sullivan led 12 of his Senate Republican colleagues in a letter to Secretary of State Antony Blinken, demanding the Biden administration press for a broader, more permanent framework of sanctions on Iran from the United Nations Security Council.
On Nov. 14, 2023, Sens. Sullivan and Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.), and a number of their Senate colleagues, introduced a resolution emphasizing the fact that deterrence is most credible when the President keeps all options on the table, including the use of military force, to deter attacks from Iran and its proxies.
On Dec. 12, 2023, Sen. Sullivan and several of his colleagues again sent a letter to Secretary Blinken, urging him to re-designate the Houthis as a Foreign Terrorist Organization (FTO), as well as Specially Designated Global Terrorists (SDGT).
On Jan. 12, 2024, Sen. Sullivan expressed his support for the strikes on the Houthi rebels in Yemen, which he said were “long overdue.”
On Jan. 12, 2024, in an interview with NBC’s Kristen Welker, Sen. Sullivan reiterated his call on the Biden administration to reestablish deterrence with regard to Iran, and argued that tougher action against Iran and its proxies will help avoid a wider war, not appeasement.
On Jan. 17, 2024, Sen. Sullivan said the decision to redesignate the Houthi rebels as an SDGT is a “step forward” that “doesn’t go far enough.”