There have now been at least 38 attacks on U.S. forces in the Middle East by Iranian-backed terrorists in recent weeks, Pentagon Press Secretary Brig. Gen. Pat Ryder said on Monday.
Ryder made his announcement during a press conference discussing the current situation in the Middle East as Israel responds to the October 7 Hamas terrorist attack during which more than 1,400 Israelis were killed.
“Could we get an update on the latest figures on attacks on U.S. forces in the region since the 17th? And just kind of how many in Iraq, how many in Syria?” a reporter asked.
“Right now, broadly speaking, we’ve had – since October 17th Eastern Time, we’ve had 20 attacks in Iraq, 18 in Syria, a total of 38 of these – you know, essentially what are harassing attacks of drones and rockets,” Ryder said.
The news came after Sens. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) and Richard Blumenthal (D-CT) said they would be introducing a bipartisan resolution calling for military strikes against Iran if Iranian-backed terrorists in the Middle East kill any U.S. soldiers or if Hezbollah opens up a second front against Israel.
The senators made their announcement during a CNN interview Sunday morning with Dana Bash on “State of the Union.”
“It basically says, if the war expands, if Hezbollah opens up a second front in the north against Israel in a substantial way to overwhelm Iron Dome, then we should hit the Islamic Republic of Iran,” Graham said. “There is no Hamas without the Ayatollahs’ support. There is no Hezbollah without the Ayatollahs’ support. The great Satan in the region is not Israel or the United States. It’s Iran.”
Graham stated that he and Blumenthal just returned from the region and that Israel had asked them to deter Iran from entering the war as focus on destroying the Hamas terrorist organization inside Gaza.
“If any of our troops are killed in Syria and Iraq by Iranian-backed militias, I think that’s an expansion of the war,” Graham said. “So, the resolution puts Iran on notice that all this military force in the region will be coming after you if you expand this war by activating Hezbollah or killing an American through your proxies in Syria and Iraq. And they need to hear that. They need to believe that.”