Donald Trump
US President Donald Trump sent a message to Venezuela, and they are not feeling his words! Photo: Getty Images

Iranian Major-General Qassem Soleimani, head of the elite Quds Force, was killed early on January 2, 2020, in an airstrike on their convoy at Baghdad airport. The airstrike was ordered by President Donald Trump, as confirmed by the Pentagon, in retaliation of the recent attack on the US embassy in Baghdad.

Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis, the deputy commander of Iran-backed militias in Iraq, the Popular Mobilization Forces, was also killed in the airstrike. Soon after the strike took place, Trump took to Twitter to post an image of the American flag without any caption.

Following the attack, a statement issued by the Pentagon clearly stated that the decision to kill Quasem Solimani was taken by the President and the U.S. military “to protect U.S. personnel abroad.”

“General Soleimani was actively developing plans to attack American diplomats and service members in Iraq and throughout the region. General Soleimani and his Quds Force were responsible for the deaths of hundreds of American and coalition service members and the wounding of thousands more. He had orchestrated attacks on coalition bases in Iraq over the last several months - including the attack on December 27th - culminating in the death and wounding of additional American and Iraqi personnel. General Soleimani also approved the attacks on the U.S. Embassy in Baghdad that took place this week,” the statement read.

“This strike was aimed at deterring future Iranian attack plans. The United States will continue to take all necessary action to protect our people and our interests wherever they are around the world,” it added.

With the US and Iran relations on the verge of souring further, this strike can be what topples the situation over the edge.

“The US' act of international terrorism, targeting & assassinating General Soleimani—THE most effective force fighting Daesh (ISIS), Al Nusrah, Al Qaeda et al—is extremely dangerous & a foolish escalation,” said Iran's foreign minister, Javad Zarif. “The US bears responsibility for all consequences of its rogue adventurism.”

Trump took the decision without any congressional approval

While the top Democrats understand the danger Soleimani posed to the US, Trump setting off an airstrike without seeking congressional approval can be the reason for a war that could have been avoided with smart thinking.

“Tonight’s action represents a massive escalation in our conflict with Iran with an unpredictable consequence,' said House Foreign Committee Chair Eliot Engel, a New York Democrat. “To push ahead with an action of this gravity without involving Congress raises serious legal problems and is an affront to Congress’s powers as a coequal branch of government.”

“Soleimani was an enemy of the United States. That's not a question,' said Senator Chris Murphy, a Connecticut Democrat. “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?”

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