Slotkin Statement on Defensive Airstrikes Against Iranian-backed Militia in Syria

March 1, 2021
Press Release

WASHINGTON, DC –– U.S. Rep. Elissa Slotkin (MI-08) issued the following statement regarding the defense airstrike the U.S. carried out against an Iranian-backed militia in Syria that launched rocket attacks against U.S. bases in Iraq:

“Iran continues to support attacks on the United States, most recently the February 15 rocket attacks on a base in northern Iraq where a U.S. service member was wounded, and a civilian contractor was killed. Iran does this regularly: they test the limits of new administrations, to see what they can get away with. And two nights ago, the Biden Administration answered that question for them. You can’t just attack us and think we’ll sit idly by.

“The air strike on militia camps just over the Syrian border was a proportionate response, but it signaled that the United States won’t sit by while our interests and allies are attacked. I’m glad that the Administration informed senior members of Congress before the attack took place — something that was missing in similar actions taken by the Trump Administration.

“But the attack highlights a much larger conundrum that the Administration will be forced to face: how to handle Iran’s bellicose behavior, from nuclear issues, to its ballistic missile programs, to its support for terrorism.

“I know that this is an issue of significant debate within the Administration, on the Hill, and among the public. And common wisdom might be to expect the Biden team to simply go back to the nuclear deal that many of the same team so painstakingly worked on. But with everything in foreign affairs, conditions change — for better or for worse — and we must strictly avoid nostalgia or political considerations from guiding policy. Any plan should come with a strategy to engage on the various threats Iran poses, and I look forward to understanding that strategy in the coming weeks and months.”