House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff (D-Calif.) reacted to the Pentagon’s announcement that U.S. forces conducted a strike killing one of Iran’s top general, saying Congress didn’t authorize the attack.
“Soleimani was responsible for unthinkable violence and world is better off without him. But Congress didn’t authorize and American people don’t want a war with Iran,” Schiff wrote in a tweet. “All steps must now be taken to protect our forces against the almost inevitable escalation and increased risk.”
Soleimani was responsible for unthinkable violence and world is better off without him.
But Congress didn’t authorize and American people don’t want a war with Iran.
All steps must now be taken to protect our forces against the almost inevitable escalation and increased risk. https://t.co/Z4HTnScFg7
— Adam Schiff (@RepAdamSchiff) January 3, 2020
The Pentagon earlier announced, “At the direction of the president, the U.S. military has taken decisive defensive action to protect U.S. personnel abroad by killing Qasem Soleimani, the head of the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps-Quds Force, a U.S.-designated Foreign Terrorist Organization.”
“General Soleimani was actively developing plans to attack American diplomats and service members in Iraq and throughout the region,” and he was “responsible for the deaths of hundreds of American and coalition service members and the wounding of thousands more,” it added.
Some Democrats echoed Schiff’s comment, arguing that President Trump did not have the authority to order the strike without congressional approval and the killing of Tehran’s top general could escalate the war and put American interests in the Middle East at risk.
Sen. Tom Udall (D-N.M.) said the strike could put “U.S. forces and citizens in danger and very possibly sinking us into another disastrous war in the Middle East that the American people are not asking for and do not support.”
“I urge members of Congress on both sides of the aisle to show courage on this issue, and I urge the Trump administration to change course and pursue diplomacy before we are entangled in yet another war in the Middle East with no end in sight,” he added in a statement.
“Soleimani was an enemy of the United States. That’s not a question,” Sen. Chris Murphy (D-Conn.) tweeted. “The question is this — as reports suggest, did America just assassinate, without any congressional authorization, the second most powerful person in Iran, knowingly setting off a potential massive regional war?”
Republicans pushed back on the criticism, saying the president had an obligation to respond to past attacks and send a strong message to acts of aggression against the U.S.
“This tweet is simply drunk partisanship. Gen. Soleimani has killed hundreds and hundreds of Americans, and was actively plotting more. This commander-in-chief — any C-in-C. — has an obligation to defend America by killing this bastard,” Sen. Ben Sasse (R-NE.) responded to Murphy’s statement.
Soleimani was a terrorist. President Trump and our brave servicemembers just reminded Iran—and the world—that we will not let attacks against Americans go unpunished.
— Kevin McCarthy (@GOPLeader) January 3, 2020
I applaud the work of U.S. military personnel in carrying out this mission. America, and our world, is safer because of Soleimani’s death.
— Joni Ernst (@SenJoniErnst) January 3, 2020
The end of Qasem Soleimani is welcome and long-overdue justice for the thousands of Americans killed or wounded by his Iranian-controlled forces across the Middle East, and for the hundreds of thousands of Syrians and Iraqi Sunnis ethnically cleansed by his militias.
— Senator Ted Cruz (@SenTedCruz) January 3, 2020
Tonight’s attack on Qasem Soleimani—who is responsible for killing countless Americans—sends a strong message: Don’t mess with America. 🇺🇸
— Rep. Doug Collins (@RepDougCollins) January 3, 2020
One of the world’s most pre-eminent sponsors of terrorism, Qassem Soleimani, is dead after spending 20 years spreading death & destruction, including killing hundreds of Americans.
Good night for America, Iraq & the entire region.
My full statement: https://t.co/z5feOSEfh5
— Rep. Dan Crenshaw (@RepDanCrenshaw) January 3, 2020
Iraqis — Iraqis — dancing in the street for freedom; thankful that General Soleimani is no more. pic.twitter.com/huFcae3ap4
— Secretary Pompeo (@SecPompeo) January 3, 2020