The United States killed Iran’s top general and the architect of Tehran’s proxy wars in the Middle East in an airstrike at Baghdad’s international airport early on Friday, an attack that threatens to dramatically ratchet up tensions in the region.
The targeted killing of Gen. Qassem Soleimani, the head of Iran’s elite Quds Force, could draw forceful Iranian retaliation against American interests in the region and spiral into a far larger conflict between the U.S. and Iran, endangering U.S. troops in Iraq, Syria and beyond.
The Defense Department said it killed Soleimani because he “was actively developing plans to attack American diplomats and service members in Iraq and throughout the region.” It also accused Soleimani of approving the attacks on the U.S. Embassy in Baghdad earlier this week.
Today, Oregon’s congressional delegation reacted to the airstrike via Twitter.
A President has the responsibility to ensure that all necessary steps have been taken to protect vulnerable American military and civilian targets before taking such a precipitous act.
— Ron Wyden (@RonWyden) January 3, 2020
It’s obvious Iran will respond and America must be vigilant. It’s important that Congress gets a full briefing on the situation and the Administration’s strategy going forward.
— Rep. Greg Walden (@repgregwalden) January 3, 2020
There is no question that Soleimani was a dangerous enemy of the U.S., but that doesn’t mean the President has the authority to launch a drone strike against him without authorization from Congress.
— Jeff Merkley (@JeffMerkley) January 3, 2020
The Associated Press contributed to this report.