Haley calls for US to 'take out' Iranian leaders responsible for deadly strikes

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Republican presidential candidate Nikki Haley called for the United States to conduct targeted strikes to “take out” Iranian leaders responsible for attacks against U.S. service members in the Middle East.

Haley in an interview Monday on Fox News outlined how she thinks President Biden should respond to the latest attack, which killed three U.S. troops, saying, “This is not about hitting Iran hard. This is about hitting Iran smart.”

“He needs to go after the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps, the IRGC, he needs to go after the leadership there, those that are making the decisions. That’s what leaves them flat-footed,” the former U.S. ambassador to the United Nations said on Fox News’ “America Reports.”

“They don’t necessarily care if you take out all of their equipment and their weapons, they don’t care if you take out any of the proxy fighters because they’ll just add new ones to it. What they do care about is when you touch their money or you touch their leadership. That’s what gets Iran’s attention,” Haley added.

President Biden has vowed to respond to the latest attack on U.S. troops, which killed three Army soldiers in Jordan over the weekend. The suicide drone attack was the latest escalation in the Middle East, where tension has been rising since the start of the Israel-Hamas war in October.

All three soldiers killed on Sunday served in the Army Reserve and were assigned to Fort Moore in Georgia. U.S. officials said they were killed after Iranian-back militia groups attacked Tower 22, a U.S. base in Jordan. Dozens more were injured in the attack, according to the Pentagon.

Biden praised the fallen U.S. troops in a statement Sunday, saying they “embodied the very best of our nation” and “were patriots in the highest sense.”

As of Monday, Iranian-backed groups have targeted U.S. troops more than 160 times in Iraq, Syria and Jordan, and the Houthis — Iranian-backed rebels in Yemen — have launched more than 30 attacks on commercial vessels and U.S. naval ships in the Red Sea.

Haley, who is challenging former President Trump for the GOP nomination, outlined on Fox News a three-pronged approach for responding to Iran: strengthen sanctions, target production sites and take out decisionmakers.

“You’ve got to take away the money from Iran because that takes away the money from the proxies. That’s the first thing they need to do,” Haley said.

“The second thing they need to do is to go and take out any of the production sites that are allowing them to do this in Iraq and Syria that they’re coming from. And then the third thing is you have to figure out which Iranian leaders are making the decisions and you take them out,” she said.

Pressed on whether that would lead to an escalation in the region, Haley emphasized the need for a targeted strike while also focusing on money sources.

“Well, if you just randomly hit Iran, that would lead to dramatic escalation,” she said. “If you smartly hit Iran. That’s when you go … after their capabilities to hurt you further.”

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