FAIRBANKS, Alaska While Senator Dan Sullivan was in Fairbanks over the weekend, he commented on the current friction between the United States and Iran. After the downing of an unmanned aircraft last Thursday, the tensions between the two countries have been rising. Sullivan said it is obviously a serious issue when the President considers the use of military force and referenced military history between the two countries.
While Senator Dan Sullivan was in Fairbanks over the weekend, he commented on the current friction between the United States and Iran.
"Not many Americans realize that in 2005 and 2006, the Iranian leadership was responsible for the deaths and wounding of 2,000 American military members. 2,000 in Iraq, and they took the message from that… we didn't really respond, which we didn't, and I think what we're doing now is sending a different message saying this isn't 2005, this isn't 2006, if you do this again, and there were indications that they were looking to do it again, that we will respond, and I believe we should respond if they credibly threaten or kill or wound American military members or American diplomats in the region, which was another area that they were targeting," said Sullivan.
"About four to five weeks ago, our commanders in the region started to get intelligence that the Iranians were looking at attacking our troops again, either directly or through proxies, the way they had done in 2005, 2006, when I was over there; spent a lot of time over there, and we never really retaliated. So there was this issue, that many of our commanders thought that they were looking to do this again, very serious intelligence that they were looking to do this again and that they kind of thought, 'hey they did it before, they can get away with it again', that's why our commanders requested more military forces in the region, most of it defensive, but also to send a signal, 'hey if you look to kill our troops again, we're not gonna just take it, we're going to retaliate and I support that'," said Sullivan.
Sullivan says that time is on the United States' side, and that America shouldn't act rashly in terms of military action in the region.
"It's one thing to shoot down an unmanned drone, it's another thing if they try to reach out and kill American soldiers or diplomats. If they do, that's a red line I think they shouldn't cross, and if they do that, I think we should retaliate at our time and choosing. We have a lot of capability to make sure they don't do that again," said Sullivan.
For background we have included sections from an Associated Press article written by Darlene Superville:
President Donald Trump said Saturday he's still considering military action against Iran after it downed an unmanned U.S. military aircraft, saying the use of force is "always on the table until we get this solved."
Days after initially saying he found it "hard to believe" the shoot-down was intentional, Trump accused Iran of "knowingly" targeting the plane. He reiterated that he aborted a planned military strike set for Thursday after learning approximately 150 Iranians would be killed.
"I don't want to kill 150 Iranians. I don't want to kill 150 of anything or anybody unless it's absolutely necessary," he told reporters as he left the White House for the Camp David presidential retreat.
Trump said "we very much appreciate" a decision by Iran's Revolutionary Guard not to shoot down a U.S. spy plane carrying more than 30 people, though he said the downing of the drone was "probably intentional."
"But regardless, they targeted something without a person in it, without a man or woman, and certainly without anybody from the United States in it. So, we want to be proportionate," Trump said.