From his perch on the U.S. House Armed Services Committee, U.S. Rep. Michael Waltz, R-Fla., the first Green Beret to serve in Congress, said he supports 1,000 more troops being sent to the Middle East as tensions with Iran continue to grow.
On Tuesday, Waltz appeared on “America’s Newsroom” on Fox News and expressed his support for the additional troops.
“The troops [deployed] are being requested by the commander in the field in response to what the Iranians are doing, [which is] lashing out,” Waltz said. “What the Iranians are trying to do is to create leverage.
Tensions between the U.S. and Iran continue to rise after U.S. Sec. of State Mike Pompeo insisted last week that Iran was responsible for last week’s attacks on two oil tankers.
Waltz was dismissive of attempts by some congressional Democrats to blame President Donald Trump for the escalating tensions with Iran.
“That ignores the fact that Iran is supporting terrorism all over the region – in Syria, in Iraq and in Yemen,” Waltz said. “It’s developing a missile program in violation of U.N. sanctions and it’s holding Americans hostage as we speak. The notion that Iran was behaving responsibly before the President withdrew from the Iran deal is patently false. That ignores facts and ignores history, from the hostages to the Beirut bombing in the 1980s, to killing over 500 American soldiers during the Iraq war.”
Waltz pointed to American actions during Operation Praying Mantis in 1988 as a model for the type of military action he would support. After Iran mined the Persian Gulf as part of its war against Iraq, which led to the USS Samuel B. Roberts, a frigate, being damaged, American forces retaliated with an attack which led to the sinking of five Iranian ships, including a frigate.
“I would support [similar moves to] those actions moving forward today as a deterrent and as a defensive measure,” said Waltz.
Reach Kevin Derby at firstname.lastname@example.org.