‘Trump just threw a dynamite stick into a tinderbox’: US Democrats savage US strike that killed Iranian Quds chief Soleimani
Former vice president and one of the top Democrat contenders in the 2020 presidential race Joe Biden called the airstrike in Iraq “a hugely escalatory move in an already dangerous region” that will likely provoke “future attacks by Iran” instead of deterring them.
President Trump just tossed a stick of dynamite into a tinderbox… We could be on the brink of a major conflict in the Middle East.
My statement on the killing of Qassem Soleimani. pic.twitter.com/4Q9tlLAYFB— Joe Biden (@JoeBiden) January 3, 2020
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) said that Trump’s order to take out Soleimani was issued “without the consultation of the Congress.” She argued that the move will provoke more violence in the region, saying that Washington “cannot afford to have tensions escalate to the point of no return.”
Speaker Pelosi on Soleimani: “Tonight’s airstrike risks provoking further dangerous escalation of violence” + notes the strike tonight was taken without an AUMF or consultation of Congress and also wants a full briefing for Congress immediately pic.twitter.com/sbTGg4NPxA— Alex Moe (@AlexNBCNews) January 3, 2020
Similar sentiment was voiced by Senators Bernie Sanders (D-VT) and Elizabeth Warren (D-MA), both of whom are 2020 hopefuls. The president’s “dangerous escalation brings us closer to another disastrous war in the Middle East that could cost countless lives and trillions more dollars,” Sanders said.
Trump's dangerous escalation brings us closer to another disastrous war in the Middle East that could cost countless lives and trillions more dollars. Trump promised to end endless wars, but this action puts us on the path to another one.— Bernie Sanders (@BernieSanders) January 3, 2020
Warren called the airstrike “reckless,” stressing that “our priority must be to avoid another costly war.”
Soleimani was a murderer, responsible for the deaths of thousands, including hundreds of Americans. But this reckless move escalates the situation with Iran and increases the likelihood of more deaths and new Middle East conflict. Our priority must be to avoid another costly war.— Elizabeth Warren (@ewarren) January 3, 2020
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
Some Republicans, meanwhile, praised the move. Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL) wrote on Twitter that Soleimani was “an active enemy combatant” and “more dangerous” than Al-Qaeda leader Osama Bin Laden and Islamic State (IS, formerly ISIS) chief Abu Bark al-Baghdadi, both of whom have been killed during US raids.
FICTION: Trump ordered the assasination of a foreign “General” and as a result has placed us on the brink of war. FACT: Soleimani was an active enemy combatant, more dangerous than evil men such as Bin Laden & Baghdadi & who operated without regard for the law of war— Marco Rubio (@marcorubio) January 3, 2020
Senator Lindsey Graham (R-SC) hailed the “bold action” by Trump as a “direct response to Iranian aggression orchestrated by General Soleimani and his proxies.”
This action by President Trump and our military was in direct response to Iranian aggression orchestrated by General Soleimani and his proxies.— Lindsey Graham (@LindseyGrahamSC) January 3, 2020
Secretary of State Mike Pompeo went further, posting a video which appeared to show Iraqis running down a street, carrying national flags. The people in the video were “dancing in the street for freedom; thankful that General Soleimani is no more,” the diplomat wrote.
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
The Pentagon confirmed that Trump personally authorized the airstrike that killed Soleimani on the road near Baghdad’s airport. Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis, the second-in-command of Iraq’s Shia paramilitary Popular Mobilization Units (PMU), had also died in the strike, along with several other
Trump himself has yet to comment on the air raid, apart from tweeting a photo of the US national flag.
Iranian officials branded the airstrike an “act of international terrorism” and promised retaliation. The raid happened soon after Iraqis, who were protesting against US airstrikes on the Kataib Hezbollah militia, broke into the US Embassy in Baghdad and set its reception area on fire.Also on rt.com ‘Act of international terrorism’: Iran vows ‘vigorous revenge’ on US after Quds Force chief killed in US airstrike
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