Updated Jan 3, 2020

Democrats condemn Trump's strike on Soleimani

Photo: Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

Democrats, including top 2020 presidential candidates, have condemned the process behind and possible repercussions of the U.S. airstrike in Iraq that killed Iran's top general, Qasem Soleimani.

The state of play: House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said in a statement that the Iraq strike "was taken without the consultation of the Congress" and "risks provoking further dangerous escalation of violence."

  • "The full Congress must be immediately briefed on this serious situation and on the next steps under consideration by the Administration, including the significant escalation of the deployment of additional troops to the region."

What they're saying:

  • Former Vice President Joe Biden said President Trump "tossed a stick of dynamite into a tinderbox" with the targeted killing of Iran's top general, and said it could leave the U.S. "on the brink of a major conflict across the Middle East," AP reports.
  • Bernie Sanders: "Trump's dangerous escalation brings us closer to another disastrous war in the Middle East that could cost countless lives and trillions more dollars."
  • Elizabeth Warren called Soleimani "a murderer, responsible for the deaths of thousands, including hundreds of Americans." But she said Trump's "reckless move escalates the situation with Iran and increases the likelihood of more deaths and new Middle East conflict."
  • Andrew Yang tweeted: "War with Iran is the last thing we need and is not the will of the American people. We should be acting to deescalate tensions and protect our people in the region."
  • Michael Bloomberg said in a statement that he hopes Trump "has carefully thought through the national security implications of this attack for our country," adding that the administration should now work to "de-escalate this crisis in order to prevent wider conflicts and protect American lives."
  • Amy Klobuchar said in a statement that Trump should have consulted Congress and the "timing, manner, and potential consequences of the administration’s actions raise serious questions and concerns about an escalating conflict."
  • Cory Booker told MSNBC that "we also have to look at the larger strategic situation in that area. We have a president who has had really a failure in his Iranian policy, who had no larger strategic plan and has made that region less stable and less safe."
  • Michael Bennet told WGBH’s Morning Edition that the act was "terribly reckless and provocative" adding, "I think you couldn’t be more naive to believe that this was going to result somehow in Iran coming to the negotiating table, rather than creating the potential for another war — which is the last thing we need in the Middle East."
  • Pete Buttigieg acknowledged Suleimani as a national security threat: "But there are serious questions about how this decision was made and whether we are prepared for the consequences." He added: "The lawful, constitutional role of Congress in matters of war and peace must be respected."
  • Deval Patrick said in a statement that "a difficult situation is becoming more dangerous because of a lack of leadership [...] Our priorities must now be de-escalation, protecting our country and our allies, the American people, and innocents everywhere[.]"

The other side: Top Republicans, including Sens. Marco Rubio (Fla.) and Tom Cotton (Ark.), have celebrated Soleimani's death.

Go deeper: America's war footing against Iran

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America's war footing

This photo released by the Iraqi Prime Minister's Press Office shows a burning vehicle at Baghdad International Airport following an airstrike early today. Photo via AP

President Trump, after warning three days ago that Iran would pay "a very BIG PRICE," authorized a drone strike at Baghdad International Airport that killed Iran's top general and second most powerful official, Qasem Soleimani.

Why it matters: Soleimani had cost hundreds of American lives and was among the Middle East's most feared powers. But Iran seems certain to respond, potentially further destabilizing the world's most volatile region.

Go deeperArrowUpdated Jan 3, 2020

The latest: Iran general who replaced Soleimani vows revenge for death

Photo: Mohammed Sawaf/AFP via Getty Images

Iran's new top commander Esmail Ghaani, who replaced Gen. Qasem Soleimani after he died in a U.S. airstrike in Iraq, pledged during a televised address Monday to avenge the general's killing, AP reports.

The latest: Ghaani‘s declaration that God "has promised to get his revenge" and that "certainly actions will be taken" came hours after Iran said it would no longer abide by limits on its uranium enrichment and Iraq's parliament voted to call on the Iraqi government to expel U.S. troops from the country over Friday's airstrike.

Go deeperArrowUpdated Jan 6, 2020

U.S. kills top Iranian commander Qasem Soleimani

Soleimani (center). Photo: Press Office of Iranian Supreme Leader/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images

One of the Iranian regime's most powerful figures has been killed in a U.S. airstrike near Baghdad's international airport, the Pentagon has confirmed.

Why it matters: Qasem Soleimani, the leader of the elite Quds force of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC), was as revered by Iran's proxies and supporters across the region as he was reviled by Iran's foes, who considered him the mastermind of state-sponsored terrorism.

Go deeperArrowJan 3, 2020