Pompeo reacts to Syria airstrikes: 'I hope it wasn't just bombs in the desert'

Updated: 2021-02-26 05:30:23

A United States airstrike in eastern late Thursday should have targeted "something that threatened the United States of America," former Mike Pompeo told "".

"You've got to protect your force, you've got to establish deterrence," Pompeo told host Laura Ingraham. "We did this a couple of times, it was effective.

"I don't know what they struck or what targets they went after," Pompeo added. "I hope it just wasn't bombs in the desert. I hope it really went after something that threatened the United States of America. If not, it's useless."

The airstrikes targeted facilities near the Syria-Iraq border used by Iran-backed militia groups. The strike came more than a week after a rocket attack in northern Iraq that killed a civilian contractor and wounded a U.S. service member and other coalition personnel. 

On Monday, a rocket attack in Baghdad's Green Zone appeared to target the U.S. Embassy, but caused no casualties. 

"You don't need to get bogged down there to take an air strike," Pompeo added. "I'm confident that we could do it ... getting in and getting out. We've got to make sure that we deter the Iranians every place. Weakness and appeasement of the Iranians will only be rewarded with more terror from them."

The Trump administration carried out strikes against Syria territory in 2017 and 2018, the latter of which were carried out in coordination with France and the United Kingdom. Both strikes were in direct retalition for chemical attacks attributed to the regime of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.

In January 2020, the Trump administration also carried out a drone strike at Baghdad International Airport that killed top Iranian Gen. Qassem Soleimani, the head of the the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps' (IRGC) elite Quds Force.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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