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3 Jan, 2020 08:02

‘Trump just threw a dynamite stick into a tinderbox’: US Democrats savage US strike that killed Iranian Quds chief Soleimani

‘Trump just threw a dynamite stick into a tinderbox’: US Democrats savage US strike that killed Iranian Quds chief Soleimani

High-ranking US Democrats have warned that the killing of Iran’s elite Quds Force chief, Qassem Soleimani, will invite retaliatory attacks from Tehran and bring the two nations to the brink of a major war in the Middle East.

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.

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.”

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.

Warren called the airstrike “reckless,” stressing that “our priority must be to avoid another costly war.”

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.

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.”

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.

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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