Nikki Haley: ‘Take out’ foreign leaders behind drone strike in Jordan

Nikki Haley called Monday for the U.S. to “take out” any Iranian leaders who support the group that conducted a drone strike that killed three U.S. troops in Jordan.

In an interview on Fox News, the former U.N. ambassador and Republican presidential contender pushed President Joe Biden to respond more forcefully to the strike, calling on the Democratic leader to ratchet up sanctions against Iran and target missile production sites.

And, she said, “you have to figure out which Iranian leaders are making the decisions, and you take them out.”

Iran has denied it was behind the deadly drone strike. Haley’s campaign told POLITICO she was talking about leadership of Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps, a branch of the armed forces charged with safeguarding the Islamic republic — and designated by the State Department as a foreign terrorist organization.

Haley brushed aside concerns that could lead to a “dramatic escalation” in the region.

“Iran knows that they can’t defeat America. They know that they don’t want to take that on. The problem is they smell blood in the water. They’ve smelled weakness from Biden since Afghanistan to Ukraine,” said Haley, a military spouse whose husband is deployed in Africa. “Until you take their money away, you are continuing to pay for them to injure and kill American soldiers. That’s the part that Biden needs to understand.”

Haley’s campaign posted a portion of the interview on X, formerly Twitter, with the message: “Joe Biden has been appeasing Iran for too long. Dictators and thugs only respond to strength.”

Pressure is growing on the Biden administration to respond more forcefully to the more than 160 attacks on U.S. troops in Iraq, Syria and now Jordan. Biden said on Sunday that the U.S. “shall respond” to the attack that his administration has blamed on Iranian-backed militias. Iran has denied it was behind the deadly drone strike.

The Pentagon on Monday identified the three soldiers who were killed as Sgt. William Jerome Rivers, Spc. Kennedy Ladon Sanders, and Spc. Breonna Alexsondria Moffett, all assigned to the 718th Engineer Company at Fort Moore, Georgia.

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