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Bipartisan resolution urges Biden admin to crack down on Iran-backed militia groups

FIRST ON FOX: Senators Ted Cruz, R-Texas, and Chris Coons, D-Del., will introduce a resolution Thursday morning condemning attacks by Iranian military proxies on U.S. military service members in Iraq and Syria. 

“The Iranian regime is attacking Americans, our allies and our interests across the Middle East. They are not only launching attacks and massacres against our Israeli and Arab allies, but their Houthi proxies are now trying to shut down freedom of navigation that is vital to the American and global economies,” Cruz said in a statement. 

“It is clear that they are not deterred, and it is long past time for the Biden administration to take all necessary steps to deter and counter these activities. Enough is enough.”

Coons said Iranian support for the attacks “rightfully earned a swift and forceful response from the Biden administration,” and he called on the Biden administration to “increase pressure on Iran to cease its support for violent militia groups, and support efforts to deter Iranian-backed militia attacks on U.S. troops and the international community.”

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The Senate resolution received bipartisan support from cosponsors Jeanne Shaheen, D-N.H.; Joe Manchin, D-W.Va.; Katie Britt, R-Ala; John Barrasso, R-Wyo; Jacky Rosen, D-Nev.; Tim Scott, R-S.C.; Marsha Blackburn, R-Tenn.; Bill Hagerty, R-Tenn.; Maggie Hassan, D-N.H.; Michael Bennet, D-Colo.; and Dan Sullivan, R-Alaska.

There has been an uptick in Iranian proxies targeting American troops in Syria and Iraq since the Oct. 7 Hamas terrorist attacks on Israel, with Iran often providing financing and training to militia groups in the region. 

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The Biden administration has come under scrutiny for its deals with Iran, including a $6 billion prisoner exchange reportedly paused after Hamas terrorists slaughtered over 1,400 Israelis.

Last week, U.S. military bases in Iraq and Syria were attacked again, bringing the number of attacks to at least 90 since Oct. 17.

The attacks have been claimed by an umbrella group of Iran-backed Iraqi militants dubbed the Islamic Resistance in Iraq. The militants say their attacks are in retaliation for Washington’s backing of Israel and its military presence in Iraq and Syria.

Iran holds considerable sway in Iraq, and a coalition of Iran-backed groups brought Iraqi Prime Minister Mohammed Shia al-Sudani to power in October 2022. At the same time, there are some 2,000 U.S. troops in Iraq under an agreement with Baghdad, mainly to counter the militant Islamic State group.

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Last month, Sen. Tom Cotton, R-Ark., said the Biden administration needs to be tougher on Iran and that a “massive retaliation” is needed to end attacks on U.S. assets. 

“Since Joe Biden took office, Iran has attacked American positions in the Middle East, I think now, over 150 times,” Cotton told Fox News Sunday.”

The Republican senator added that the United States has only hit back a few times, and not at targets he would order were he commander in chief. The Senate Armed Services and Senate Intelligence Committee member said he would suggest targeting Iranians operating in Iraq and in Syria. 

Fox News’ Pilar Arias and The Associated Press contributed to this report. 

   

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