The Biden administration has been “extremely timid,” according to House Intelligence Chairman Mike Turner (R-OH), in its reaction to Iran’s escalation of hostilities in the Middle East.
During a Sunday appearance on ABC’s “This Week,” the congressman, who has access to some of the most sensitive national security secrets of the United States, described the lack of response from President Joe Biden’s team to the Houthi escalation in the region as “significant.”
Turner was delivering a response to the weekend assault by Houthi boats backed by Iran on another merchant vessel in the Red Sea. The attack incited a decisive U.S. Navy response that annihilated the aggressors.
“This really, though, is the – is the Iran issue. I mean the Houthis, Hezbollah, Hamas are all, you know, satellites funded, trained by Iran itself. This administration has been very timid in responding to escalation by Iran,” Turner stated.
GOP Rep. Mike Turner calls for the Biden administration to take tougher action against the Houthis after the U.S. Navy clashed with the Yemeni armed group in the Red Sea, telling @JonKarl that Pres. Biden "has been very timid" in responding. https://t.co/5wewFKsrPe pic.twitter.com/k67SK3oWi9
— This Week (@ThisWeekABC) December 31, 2023
“And in order to be able to address this, they’re going to have to look at operations into Yemen where the capabilities are resonant, where Iran continues to reload them as they attack commercial shipping areas and put at risk U.S. military,” he continued.
Houthi rebels have purportedly issued a warning to vessels heading in the direction of Israel, which their organization claims is an act of solidarity with the Palestinians as Israel combats Hamas in the Gaza Strip in the wake of an October 1 Hamas terrorist attack on Israeli soil.
Mid-December, Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin declared the launch of the multinational operation Prosperity Guardian, which is designed to defend vessels in the Red Sea, in response to a “escalation” in Houthi attacks emanating from Yemen in recent weeks.