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Westlake Legal Group > News Corporation (Page 364)

Christian Whiton: Trump right to order killing of Iranian Gen. Soleimani – Will make Americans safer

Westlake Legal Group 694940094001_6119400872001_6119402773001-vs Christian Whiton: Trump right to order killing of Iranian Gen. Soleimani – Will make Americans safer fox-news/world/world-regions/iraq fox-news/world/conflicts/iran fox-news/world fox-news/us/terror/counter-terrorism fox-news/us/military fox-news/politics/defense/conflicts fox-news/politics/defense fox-news/person/donald-trump fox-news/opinion fox news fnc/opinion fnc Christian Whiton article 991bb420-4fb6-5678-8e45-a11998c0fd5c

President Trump acted correctly and decisively in ordering the Friday morning killing of Iranian General Qassem Soleimani, the head of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps’ elite Quds Force, in an airstrike in Iraq.

The force Soleimani led is responsible for exporting terrorism and political chaos for the Iranian regime.

Soleimani had the blood of hundreds of Americans on his hands, and was in the Iraqi capital of Baghdad planning attacks on more Americans throughout the Middle East. Trump acted to prevent this bloodshed from occurring and also effectively retaliated for the failed attack by an Iranian proxy militia on the U.S. embassy in Baghdad Tuesday.

IRAN VOWS ‘HARSH RETALIATION’ AFTER US AIRSTRIKE KILLS IRANIAN GEN. QASSEM SOLEIMANI

Responding to the killing of Soleimani, Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei warned Friday that “harsh retaliation is waiting” for the U.S.

Trump’s Democratic opponents didn’t even wait for our president to speak before they attacked him.

Far-left freshman Rep. Ilhan Omar, D-Minn., tweeted: “So what if Trump wants war, knows this leads to war and needs the distraction?”

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Sen. Chris Murphy, D-Conn., asked: “…did America just assassinate, without any congressional authorization, the second most powerful person in Iran, knowingly setting off a potential massive regional war?”

Former Vice President Joe Biden, the frontrunner in the Democratic presidential nomination, said in a statement: “President Trump just tossed a stick of dynamite into a tinderbox.”

So much for rallying around our president at a time of crisis.

Instead, Democrats are busy implying Trump acted only to distract the public from the impeachment sham – which most Americans have already tuned out – or ordered the killing in haste and without sufficient provocation.

Let’s look at the scoreboard since the Islamist regime came to power in Iran a 1979 revolution marked by capturing and holding 52 Americans hostage for 444 days.

Iran’s proxies then bombed our embassy in Beirut in 1983 and were responsible for killing 241 servicemen at our Marine barracks there. They took American officials hostage in Lebanon later that decade and tortured and killed some.

Iranian agents blew up the Khobar Towers dormitory used by U.S. Air Force personnel in Saudi Arabia in 1996. During the 2000s, Iran was responsible for the deaths of a major portion of the Americans killed in Iraq by Shiite militias.

Just in the past year, Iran has repeatedly targeted U.S. citizens and interests, ranging from killing a U.S. serviceman in Afghanistan, to disrupting shipping in the Arabian Gulf, to shooting down a U.S. Navy aircraft in international airspace.

Trump has hardly acted in haste. He canceled an attack on Iran last June because he thought the possible cost in human lives would have been disproportionate to the provocation. And he has prioritized financial sanctions over military force in trying to get Iran to abandon its nuclear weapons program.

Trump finally had enough only after Iran was caught once again plotting American deaths and attacked our embassy in Baghdad.

For the first time, an American president has pushed back forcefully on Tehran and made it pay a clear consequence for its use of terrorism. Ultimately, that is what Democrats cannot countenance.

Democrats cannot stand the decisive use of American power to advance our national security without apology. They want to blame Trump – and America – for the world’s problems, especially in the Middle East.

Singing from Tehran’s song sheet, Democrats in Congress and on the campaign trail now all but promise Iranian retaliation.

We’ll see. These are the same voices that promised mayhem when we moved our embassy in Israel from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem. The ensuing protests featured more Western journalists than actual protesters.

Trump can hold Iranian territory at risk with little cost to the United States. As hawkish Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., has suggested, we could strike Iran’s vulnerable oil refineries with little risk and great impact on the Iranian economy.

Better still, we could seriously degrade Iran’s nuclear weapons potential by disabling its uranium-processing centers and plutonium-yielding nuclear reactor. None of this need entail an invasion or nation-building.

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Most likely these steps will not be necessary, as the Iranian regime reels, facing strong new resistance to its foreign adventures and protests at home by Iranian citizens who want a different government.

Furthermore, don’t think the importance of Trump’s action will be lost in the capitals of other U.S. adversaries. China’s Xi Jinping, North Korea’s Kim Jong Un, and Russia’s Vladimir Putin all undoubtedly hoped that the Democrats’ impeachment sham would have weakened Trump – even if it didn’t remove him from office. Now they know it didn’t.

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As for the Democratic naysayers, we once again should marvel at the wisdom of the Founding Fathers in investing nearly all defense and foreign policy power in the presidency. As Alexander Hamilton wrote in the Federalist Papers:” “… the direction of war most peculiarly demands those qualities which distinguish the exercise of power by a single hand.”

Members of Congress make statements; presidents take action. And Trump’s action will make the world safer for Americans.

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Westlake Legal Group 694940094001_6119400872001_6119402773001-vs Christian Whiton: Trump right to order killing of Iranian Gen. Soleimani – Will make Americans safer fox-news/world/world-regions/iraq fox-news/world/conflicts/iran fox-news/world fox-news/us/terror/counter-terrorism fox-news/us/military fox-news/politics/defense/conflicts fox-news/politics/defense fox-news/person/donald-trump fox-news/opinion fox news fnc/opinion fnc Christian Whiton article 991bb420-4fb6-5678-8e45-a11998c0fd5c   Westlake Legal Group 694940094001_6119400872001_6119402773001-vs Christian Whiton: Trump right to order killing of Iranian Gen. Soleimani – Will make Americans safer fox-news/world/world-regions/iraq fox-news/world/conflicts/iran fox-news/world fox-news/us/terror/counter-terrorism fox-news/us/military fox-news/politics/defense/conflicts fox-news/politics/defense fox-news/person/donald-trump fox-news/opinion fox news fnc/opinion fnc Christian Whiton article 991bb420-4fb6-5678-8e45-a11998c0fd5c

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New York, Los Angeles increase security after U.S. airstrike kills top Iranian general

Westlake Legal Group NYPD-iStock New York, Los Angeles increase security after U.S. airstrike kills top Iranian general fox-news/world/conflicts/iran fox-news/us/us-regions/northeast/new-york fox-news/travel/vacation-destinations/los-angeles fox news fnc/world fnc Brie Stimson article 7d86b045-cadf-5d5d-8558-e1474b9ebd89

New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio said late Thursday he’d spoken with top NYPD officials about immediate steps the department could take to protect key areas in the city from a potential retaliatory attack by Iranian after a U.S.-led airstrike that killed a top Iranian general.

IRAN RESPONDS TO GENERAL KILLING

“We will have to be vigilant against this threat for a long time to come,” De Blasio tweeted.

The Pentagon confirmed that President Trump ordered an airstrike that killed Iranian Gen. Qassim Soleimani, the head of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps’ elite Quds Force as well as six others at the Baghdad international airport early Friday.

“At the direction of the President, the U.S. military has taken decisive defensive action to protect U.S. personnel abroad by killing Qasem Soleimani, the head of the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps-Quds Force, a U.S.-designated Foreign Terrorist Organization,” the agency said in a statement.

TRUMP ORDERS ATTACK THAT KILLS IRANIAN GEN. QASSIM SOLEIMANI, OTHER MILITARY OFFICIALS IN BAGHDAD, PENTAGON SAYS

De Blasio made an earlier statement about the airstrike, saying he’s worried about New York City and the U.S. as a whole.

“Without the approval of Congress, the US Government effectively declared war on Iran tonight,” De Blasio tweeted. “The American people had no say in the matter, despite voting time + again to stop endless wars + bring our troops home. This one will not end soon.”

The Los Angeles Police Department issued a statement after the attack, saying they are monitoring the events in Iran.

“We will continue to communicate with state, local, federal and international law enforcement partners regarding any significant intel that may develop,” the department wrote on their Twitter account.

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The LAPD added there is no known credible threat to Los Angeles.

Westlake Legal Group NYPD-iStock New York, Los Angeles increase security after U.S. airstrike kills top Iranian general fox-news/world/conflicts/iran fox-news/us/us-regions/northeast/new-york fox-news/travel/vacation-destinations/los-angeles fox news fnc/world fnc Brie Stimson article 7d86b045-cadf-5d5d-8558-e1474b9ebd89   Westlake Legal Group NYPD-iStock New York, Los Angeles increase security after U.S. airstrike kills top Iranian general fox-news/world/conflicts/iran fox-news/us/us-regions/northeast/new-york fox-news/travel/vacation-destinations/los-angeles fox news fnc/world fnc Brie Stimson article 7d86b045-cadf-5d5d-8558-e1474b9ebd89

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Iran’s Supreme Leader: ‘Harsh Retaliation Is Waiting’ For U.S.

BAGHDAD (AP) — Iran has vowed “harsh retaliation” for a U.S. airstrike near Baghdad’s airport that killed Tehran’s top general and the architect of its interventions across the Middle East, as tensions soared in the wake of the targeted killing.

The killing of Gen. Qassem Soleimani, the head of Iran’s elite Quds Force, marks a major escalation in the standoff between Washington and Iran, which has careened from one crisis to another since President Donald Trump withdrew from the 2015 nuclear deal and imposed crippling sanctions.

The United States urged its U.S. citizens to leave Iraq “immediately.” The State Department said the embassy in Baghdad, which was attacked by Iran-backed militiamen and other protesters earlier this week, is closed and all consular services have been suspended.

Around 5,200 American troops are based in Iraq, where they mainly train Iraqi forces and help to combat Islamic State militants.

Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei warned that a “harsh retaliation is waiting” for the U.S. after the airstrike, calling Soleimani the “international face of resistance.” Khamenei declared three days of public mourning for the general’s death.

Iran also summoned the Swiss charges d’affaires, who represents U.S. interests in Tehran, to protest the killing. Iran’s Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif called the strike “an act of state terrorism and violation of Iraq’s sovereignty.”

Westlake Legal Group 5e0eda3a2500003b1998fa58 Iran’s Supreme Leader: ‘Harsh Retaliation Is Waiting’ For U.S.

Anadolu Agency via Getty Images Ayatollah Ali Khamenei declared three days of public mourning for the general’s death.

The killing, and any forceful retaliation by Iran, could ignite a conflict that engulfs the whole region, endangering U.S. troops in Iraq, Syria and beyond. Over the last two decades Soleimani had assembled a network of powerful and heavily armed allies stretching all the way to southern Lebanon, on Israel’s doorstep.

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 orchestrated violent protests at the U.S. Embassy in Baghdad earlier this week.

The airport strike also killed Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis, deputy commander of Iran-backed militias in Iraq known as the Popular Mobilization Forces. A PMF official said the strike killed a total of eight people, including Soleimani’s son-in-law, whom he did not identify.

Trump was vacationing on his estate in Palm Beach, Florida, but sent out a tweet of an American flag.

The dramatic attack comes at the start of a year in which Trump faces both a Senate trial following his impeachment by the Congress and a re-election campaign. It marks a potential turning point in the Middle East and represents a drastic change for American policy toward Iran after months of tensions.

Tehran shot down a U.S. military surveillance drone and seized oil tankers last year. The U.S. also blames Iran for a series of other attacks targeting tankers, as well as a September assault on Saudi Arabia’s oil industry that temporarily halved its production.

The tensions are rooted in in Trump’s decision in May 2018 to withdraw the U.S. from Iran’s nuclear deal with world powers, struck under his predecessor, Barack Obama.

The 62-year-old Soleimani was the target of Friday’s attack on an access road near the airport, which was conducted by an armed American drone, according to a U.S. official.

A senior Iraqi security official said the airstrike took place near the cargo area after Soleimani left his plane and joined al-Muhandis and others in a car. The official said the plane had arrived from either Lebanon or Syria.

PMF officials said the bodies of Suleimani and al-Muhandis were torn to pieces. A senior politician said Soleimani’s body was identified by the ring he wore.

The officials spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to brief media.

It’s unclear what legal authority the U.S. relied on to carry out the attack. American presidents claim broad authority to act without the approval of the Congress when U.S. personnel or interests are facing an imminent threat. The Pentagon did not provide evidence to back up its assertion that Soleimani was planning new attacks against Americans.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said the “highest priority” was to protect American lives and interests, but that “we cannot put the lives of American service members, diplomats and others further at risk by engaging in provocative and disproportionate actions.” She said Congress was not consulted on the strike and demanded it be “immediately” briefed on the situation and the next steps.

Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden said Trump had “tossed a stick of dynamite into a tinderbox,” saying it could leave the U.S. “on the brink of a major conflict across the Middle East.” Other Democratic White House hopefuls also criticized Trump’s order.

But Trump allies were quick to praise the action. “To the Iranian government: if you want more, you will get more,” tweeted South Carolina Sen. Lindsey Graham.

The killing promised to strain relations with Iraq’s government, which is closely allied with both Washington and Tehran. Prime Minister Adel Abdul-Mahdi condemned the strike as an “aggression against Iraq” and a “blatant attack on the nation’s dignity.”

He also called for an emergency session of parliament to take “necessary and appropriate measures to protect Iraq’s dignity, security and sovereignty.”

The Syrian government, which has received key support from Iran throughout the civil war, also condemned the strike, saying it could lead to a “dangerous escalation” in the region. Hassan Nasrallah, the head of the Iran-backed Lebanese militant group Hezbollah, released a statement mourning those killed in the U.S. strike, saying their blood was not wasted.

There was no immediate reaction from Israel, which views Iran as its greatest threat. Authorities closed the Mount Hermon ski resort near the borders with Lebanon and Syria as a precaution but didn’t announce any other security measures. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s office said he was cutting short a trip to Greece to return home and follow “ongoing developments.”

Yoel Guzansky, an expert on Iran at the Institute for National Strategic Studies, a prestigious Tel Aviv think tank, said the killing restored America’s deterrence powers in the Middle East.

“I think the Iranians are shocked now, the Russians, the Chinese, no one would believe Trump would do that,” he said, adding that Iran, in the short run, was likely to retaliate against the U.S. or its allies, and possibly against Israel. But he said in the long run, the loss of Soleimani — who had also been on Israel’s radar for some time — would weaken Iran’s capabilities across the region.

For Iran, the killing represents the loss of a cultural icon who represented national pride and resilience while facing U.S. sanctions. While careful to avoid involving himself in politics, Soleimani’s profile rose sharply as U.S. and Israeli officials blamed him for Iranian proxy attacks abroad.

While Iran’s conventional military has suffered under 40 years of American sanctions, the Guard has built up a ballistic missile program. It also can strike asymmetrically in the region through forces like Lebanon’s Hezbollah and Yemen’s Houthi rebels.

As the head of the Quds, or Jersualem, Force of Iran’s paramilitary Revolutionary Guard, Soleimani led all of its expeditionary forces and frequently shuttled between Iraq, Lebanon and Syria. Quds Force members have deployed into Syria’s long war to support President Bashar Assad, as well as into Iraq in the wake of the 2003 U.S. invasion that toppled dictator Saddam Hussein, a longtime foe of Tehran.

Soleimani rose to even greater prominence by advising forces fighting the Islamic State group in Iraq and in Syria.

U.S. officials say the Guard under Soleimani taught Iraqi militants how to manufacture and use especially deadly roadside bombs against U.S. troops after the invasion of Iraq. Iran has denied that.

Soleimani’s killing follows the New Year’s Eve attack by Iran-backed militias on the U.S. Embassy in Baghdad. The two-day embassy attack, which ended Wednesday, prompted Trump to order about 750 U.S. troops deployed to the Middle East. No one was killed or wounded in the attack, which appeared to be mainly a show of force.

It prompted Secretary of State Mike Pompeo to postpone his trip to Ukraine and four other countries “to continue monitoring the ongoing situation in Iraq and ensure the safety and security of Americans in the Middle East,” the State Department said.

The breach at the embassy followed U.S. airstrikes Sunday that killed 25 fighters of Kataeb Hezbollah, an Iran-backed militia operating in Iraq and Syria. The U.S. military said the strikes were in retaliation for last week’s killing of an American contractor in a rocket attack on an Iraqi military base that the U.S. blamed on the militia.

U.S. officials have suggested they were prepared to engage in further retaliatory attacks in Iraq.

“The game has changed,” Defense Secretary Mark Esper said Thursday, telling reporters that violent acts by Iran-backed Shiite militias in Iraq will be met with U.S. military force.

Karam reported from Beirut. Associated Press writers Robert Burns and Zeke Miller in Washington; Jon Gambrell in Dubai, United Arab Emirates; Nasser Karimi and Amir Vahdat in Tehran, Iran; Bassem Mroue and Sarah El Deeb in Beirut; and Joseph Krauss and Josef Federman in Jerusalem contributed to this report.

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Jennifer Lopez is hoping to ‘give the best Super Bowl ever’

Jennifer Lopez has high hopes for her Super Bowl halftime performance.

Lopez, 50, is set to perform with Shakira on Sunday, Feb. 2 in Miami for the season’s biggest football game.

The multihyphenate spoke with Entertainment Tonight about the upcoming performance.

“I cannot tease or reveal, but we are rehearsing,” said Lopez. “I started in December, now it’s crunch time. We’re all coming back, we’re all excited. It’s going to be a great show, what can I tell you? We’re going to try to give the best Super Bowl ever.”

Westlake Legal Group jennifer-lopez-stripper-hustlers-display Jennifer Lopez is hoping to 'give the best Super Bowl ever' Nate Day fox-news/person/jennifer-lopez fox-news/entertainment/music fox-news/entertainment/movies fox-news/entertainment fox news fnc/entertainment fnc eab6fe61-08c4-55ba-93d7-2e73e8de38e9 article

Jennifer Lopez in a scene from “Hustlers.” Lopez stars as Ramona, a leader of strippers in a Robin Hood-esque scheme to steal from rich men. (AP)

Lopez and the outlet were at the 31st Annual Palm Springs International Film Festival Film Awards Gala on Thursday night, where she will accept the Spotlight Award for her work in the film “Hustlers” — an award that is often a precursor of an Oscar nomination.

“The journey of this film has been such a labor of love and, kind of, such a push that to be here and to be recognized tonight at the Palm Springs Film Festival, such a legendary festival, and to even be in the conversation, is just a dream come true,” Lopez said.

Lopez earned a Golden Globe nomination for her role in the film, as well.

Westlake Legal Group jennifer-lopez-ap Jennifer Lopez is hoping to 'give the best Super Bowl ever' Nate Day fox-news/person/jennifer-lopez fox-news/entertainment/music fox-news/entertainment/movies fox-news/entertainment fox news fnc/entertainment fnc eab6fe61-08c4-55ba-93d7-2e73e8de38e9 article   Westlake Legal Group jennifer-lopez-ap Jennifer Lopez is hoping to 'give the best Super Bowl ever' Nate Day fox-news/person/jennifer-lopez fox-news/entertainment/music fox-news/entertainment/movies fox-news/entertainment fox news fnc/entertainment fnc eab6fe61-08c4-55ba-93d7-2e73e8de38e9 article

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Iran’s Supreme Leader: ‘Harsh Retaliation Is Waiting’ For U.S. After General’s Death

BAGHDAD (AP) — 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.

Westlake Legal Group 5e0eda3a2500003b1998fa58 Iran’s Supreme Leader: ‘Harsh Retaliation Is Waiting’ For U.S. After General’s Death

Anadolu Agency via Getty Images Ayatollah Ali Khamenei declared three days of public mourning for the general’s death.

Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei warned that a “harsh retaliation is waiting” for the U.S.

Iranian state TV carried a statement by Khamenei also calling Soleimani “the international face of resistance.” Khamenei declared three days of public mourning for the general’s death.

Also, an adviser to Iran’s President Hassan Rouhani warned President Donald Trump of retaliation from Tehran. “Trump through his gamble has dragged the U.S. into the most dangerous situation in the region,” Hessameddin Ashena wrote on the social media app Telegram. “Whoever put his foot beyond the red line should be ready to face its consequences.”

Iranian state television later in a commentary called Trump’s order to kill Soleimani “the biggest miscalculation by the U.S.” in the years since World War II. “The people of the region will no longer allow Americans to stay,” the TV said.

The airport strike also killed Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis, deputy commander of Iran-backed militias in Iraq known as the Popular Mobilization Forces, and five others, including the PMF’s airport protocol officer, Mohammed Reda, Iraqi officials said.

Trump was vacationing on his estate in Palm Beach, Florida, but sent out a tweet of an American flag.

The dramatic attack comes at the start of a year in which Trump faces both a Senate trial following his impeachment by the U.S. House and a re-election campaign. It marks a potential turning point in the Middle East and represents a drastic change for American policy toward Iran after months of tensions.

Tehran shot down a U.S. military surveillance drone and seized oil tankers. The U.S. also blames Iran for a series of attacks targeting tankers, as well as a September assault on Saudi Arabia’s oil industry that temporarily halved its production.

The tensions take root in Trump’s decision in May 2018 to withdraw the U.S. from Iran’s nuclear deal with world powers, struck under his predecessor, Barack Obama.

The 62-year-old Soleimani was the target of Friday’s U.S. attack, which was conducted by an armed American drone, according to a U.S. official. His vehicle was struck on an access road near the Baghdad airport.

A senior Iraqi security official said the airstrike took place near the cargo area after Soleimani left his plane and joined al-Muhandis and others in a car. The official said the plane had arrived from either Lebanon or Syria.

Two officials from the PMF said Suleimani’s body was torn to pieces in the attack, while they did not find the body of al-Muhandis. A senior politician said Soleimani’s body was identified by the ring he wore.

The officials spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to give official statements.

It’s unclear what legal authority the U.S. relied on to carry out the attack. American presidents claim broad authority to act without the approval of the Congress when U.S. personnel or interests are facing an imminent threat. The Pentagon did not provide evidence to back up its assertion that Soleimani was planning new attacks against Americans.

Democratic Connecticut Sen. Richard Blumenthal said Trump owes a full explanation to Congress and the American people. “The present authorizations for use of military force in no way cover starting a possible new war. This step could bring the most consequential military confrontation in decades,” Blumenthal said.

But Trump allies were quick to praise the action. “To the Iranian government: if you want more, you will get more,” tweeted South Carolina Sen. Lindsey Graham.

For Iran, the killing represents more than just the loss of a battlefield commander, but also a cultural icon who represented national pride and resilience while facing U.S. sanctions. While careful to avoid involving himself in politics, Soleimani’s profile rose sharply as U.S. and Israeli officials blamed him for Iranian proxy attacks abroad.

While Iran’s conventional military has suffered under 40 years of American sanctions, the Guard has built up a ballistic missile program. It also can strike asymmetrically in the region through forces like Lebanon’s Hezbollah and Yemen’s Houthi rebels. The U.S. long has blamed Iran for car bombings and kidnappings it never claimed.

As the head of the Quds, or Jersualem, Force of Iran’s paramilitary Revolutionary Guard, Soleimani led all of its expeditionary forces and frequently shuttled between Iraq, Lebanon and Syria. Quds Force members have deployed into Syria’s long war to support President Bashar Assad, as well as into Iraq in the wake of the 2003 U.S. invasion that toppled dictator Saddam Hussein, a longtime foe of Tehran.

Soleimani rose to prominence by advising forces fighting the Islamic State group in Iraq and in Syria on behalf of the embattled Assad.

U.S. officials say the Guard under Soleimani taught Iraqi militants how to manufacture and use especially deadly roadside bombs against U.S. troops after the invasion of Iraq. Iran has denied that. Soleimani himself remains popular among many Iranians, who see him as a selfless hero fighting Iran’s enemies abroad.

Soleimani had been rumored dead several times, including in a 2006 airplane crash that killed other military officials in northwestern Iran and following a 2012 bombing in Damascus that killed top aides of Assad. Rumors circulated in November 2015 that Soleimani was killed or seriously wounded leading forces loyal to Assad as they fought around Syria’s Aleppo.

Soleimani’s killing follows the New Year’s Eve attack by Iran-backed militias on the U.S. Embassy in Baghdad. The two-day embassy attack, which ended Wednesday, prompted Trump to order about 750 U.S. soldiers deployed to the Middle East.

It also prompted Secretary of State Mike Pompeo to postpone his trip to Ukraine and four other countries “to continue monitoring the ongoing situation in Iraq and ensure the safety and security of Americans in the Middle East,” State Department spokeswoman Morgan Ortagus said Wednesday.

The breach at the embassy followed U.S. airstrikes Sunday that killed 25 fighters of the Iran-backed militia in Iraq, the Kataeb Hezbollah. The U.S. military said the strikes were in retaliation for last week’s killing of an American contractor in a rocket attack on an Iraqi military base that the U.S. blamed on the militia.

U.S. officials have suggested they were prepared to engage in further retaliatory attacks in Iraq.

“The game has changed,” Defense Secretary Mark Esper said Thursday, telling reporters that violent acts by Iran-backed Shiite militias in Iraq — including the Dec. 27 rocket attack that killed one American — will be met with U.S. military force.

Karam reported from Beirut. Associated Press writers Robert Burns and Zeke Miller in Washington, Jon Gambrell in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, Nasser Karimi in Tehran, Iran, and Bassem Mroue in Beirut contributed reporting.

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Democrats Warn Of ‘Disastrous,’ ‘Illegal’ War

Westlake Legal Group 5e0ecf0b2500001c1998fa51 Democrats Warn Of ‘Disastrous,’ ‘Illegal’ War

The Pentagon admitted Thursday to having killed a senior Iranian commander, Gen. Qassem Suleimani, a staggering move made without congressional authority that has left Democrats angry and concerned about the United States’ fragile relationship with Iran.

The U.S. launched strikes against targets linked to Iran, officials told Reuters. The strike at the Baghdad International Airport in Iraq killed five people, including Soleimani and Abu Mahdi-Muhandis, a pro-Iranian militia leader who was a senior official in Iraq’s government-linked Popular Mobilization Forces, according to The New York Times.

“The strike was aimed at deterring future Iranian attack plans,” the Pentagon said in a statement on the death of Soleimani, a giant force of influence in the Middle East. “The United States will continue to take all necessary action to protect our people and our interest wherever they are around the world.”

Though nearly all Democrats agreed that Soleimani was a feared and ruthless military commander, they also stressed concern about the lack of transparency regarding the strikes, as well as about the long-term consequences for the U.S. and whether the move will result in war.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) said Thursday that the airstrike “risks provoking further dangerous escalation of violence” and that Congress must be immediately briefed on the administration’s next steps, according to NBC News. 

“The Administration has conducted tonight’s strikes in Iraq targeting high-level Iranian military officials … without an Authorization for Use of Military Force (AUMF) against Iran,” Pelosi said in a statement. “Further, this action was taken without the consultation of Congress.”

“This strike went forward with no notification or consultation with Congress,” committee Chairman Eliot Engel (D-N.Y.) said in a statement Thursday. “Even if this strike was in self-defense, no current congressional authorization covered it and the President needs to notify Congress within 48 hours pursuant to the War Powers Resolution. The law requires notification so the President can’t plunge the United States into ill-considered wars.”

Sen. Chuck Schumer, the upper chamber’s top Democrat, was not given any advance notice of the airstrike, according to an aide. 

Several other senators, specifically Democrats on the Foreign Relations Committee, spoke out Thursday night. A spokesperson for the committee’s top Democrat, Bob Menendez of New Jersey, declined to immediately comment but told HuffPost that the senator will deliver a statement on the airstrikes Friday morning. 

“Soleimani was an enemy of the United States. That’s not a question,” committee member Sen. Chris Murphy (D-Conn.) wrote on Twitter. “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?”

Murphy added: “The justification for the assassination is to ‘deter future Iranian attacks.’ One reason we don’t generally assasinate foreign political officials is the belief that such action will get more, not less, Americans killed. That should be our real, pressing and grave worry tonight.”

Other Democrats on the committee, such as Sen. Tom Udall of New Mexico, said that Trump is bringing the U.S. “to the brink of an illegal war with Iran.”

“Passing our bipartisan amendment to prevent unconstitutional war with Iran is urgent,” Udall tweeted. “Congress needs to step in immediately.”

Sen. Cory Booker (D-N.J.), a member of the committee and a 2020 presidential candidate, was more hesitant in his response Thursday, telling CNN that Suleimani had “American blood on his hands” but that he’s concerned about Trump’s lack of foreign policy strategy in Iran and the Middle East in general.

Other 2020 candidates, including Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.)former Vice President Joe Biden and businessman Andrew Yang, also spoke out Thursday against the decision to kill Suleimani.

“When I voted against the war in Iraq in 2002, I feared it would lead to greater destabilization of the region. That fear unfortunately turned out to be true. The U.S. has lost approximately 4,500 brave troops, tens of thousands have been wounded, and we’ve spent trillions,” Sanders tweeted.

“Trump’s dangerous escalation brings us closer to another disastrous war in the Middle East that could cost countless lives and trillions more dollars,” he added. “Trump promised to end endless wars, but this action puts us on the path to another one.”

Not every 2020 Democratic candidate had an immediate response to the reports, though. Spokespeople for Rep. Tulsi Gabbard (Hawaii) and former South Bend, Indiana, Mayor Pete Buttigieg ― candidates who both served in the military ― did not immediately respond to HuffPost’s request for comment.

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NJ Dem says U.S. airstrike could lead to more American deaths

Westlake Legal Group GettyImages-540682798 NJ Dem says U.S. airstrike could lead to more American deaths fox-news/world/conflicts/iran fox-news/world fox news fnc/world fnc Brie Stimson article 76540680-d505-5224-b5aa-39da1c70f632

Sen. Chris Murphy, D. Mass., said Friday that the United States may have provoked a potential regional war in the Middle East that could lead to more American deaths after the airstrike that killed the head of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps’ elite Quds Force.

“[Qassim]Soleimani was an enemy of the United States. That’s not a question,” Murphy tweeted of the top Iranian general killed along with six others in airstrike ordered by President Trump.

“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?” he said.

POLITICAL REACTION TO BAGHDAD ROCKET ATTACK KILLING IRANIAN GENERAL

The Pentagon confirmed the attack Thursday.

“At the direction of the President, the U.S. military has taken decisive defensive action to protect U.S. personnel abroad by killing Qasem Soleimani, the head of the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps-Quds Force, a U.S.-designated Foreign Terrorist Organization,” the agency said in a statement.

Murphy, who is a member of the Senate Committee on Foreign Relations, said that while the justification for the attack is to “deter future Iranian attacks,” the U.S. usually doesn’t assassinate foreign officials because it could potentially cause more Americans to be killed.

“That should be our real, pressing and grave worry tonight,” he said.

He added that while no one knows what will happen next, “the neocons thumping their chest tonight should recall that the worst mistakes global powers make are when they strike militarily in complicated places with few friends, with no consideration of the consequences.”

Iran’s Foreign Minister Javad Zarif tweeted after the attack “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.”

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He added that the U.S. “bears responsibility for all consequences of its rogue adventurism.”

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Democrats Warn Of ‘Disastrous,’ ‘Illegal’ War After Assassination Of Suleimani

Westlake Legal Group 5e0ecf0b2500001c1998fa51 Democrats Warn Of ‘Disastrous,’ ‘Illegal’ War After Assassination Of Suleimani

The Pentagon admitted Thursday to having killed a senior Iranian commander, Gen. Qassem Suleimani, a staggering move made without congressional authority that has left Democrats angry and concerned about the United States’ fragile relationship with Iran.

The U.S. launched strikes against targets linked to Iran, officials told Reuters. The strike at the Baghdad International Airport in Iraq killed five people, including Suleimani and Abu Mahdi-Muhandis, a pro-Iranian militia leader who was a senior official in Iraq’s government-linked Popular Mobilization Forces, according to The New York Times.

“The strike was aimed at deterring future Iranian attack plans,” the Pentagon said in a statement on the death of Suleimani, a giant force of influence in the Middle East. “The United States will continue to take all necessary action to protect our people and our interest wherever they are around the world.”

Though nearly all Democrats agreed that Suleimani was a feared and ruthless military commander, they also stressed concern about the lack of transparency regarding the strikes, as well as about the long-term consequences for the U.S. and whether the move will result in war.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) said Thursday that the airstrike “risks provoking further dangerous escalation of violence” and that Congress must be immediately briefed on the administration’s next steps, according to NBC News. 

“The Administration has conducted tonight’s strikes in Iraq targeting high-level Iranian military officials … without an Authorization for Use of Military Force (AUMF) against Iran,” Pelosi said in a statement. “Further, this action was taken without the consultation of Congress.”

“This strike went forward with no notification or consultation with Congress,” committee Chairman Eliot Engel (D-N.Y.) said in a statement Thursday. “Even if this strike was in self-defense, no current congressional authorization covered it and the President needs to notify Congress within 48 hours pursuant to the War Powers Resolution. The law requires notification so the President can’t plunge the United States into ill-considered wars.”

Sen. Chuck Schumer, the upper chamber’s top Democrat, was not given any advance notice of the airstrike, according to an aide. 

Several other senators, specifically Democrats on the Foreign Relations Committee, spoke out Thursday night. A spokesperson for the committee’s top Democrat, Bob Menendez of New Jersey, declined to immediately comment but told HuffPost that the senator will deliver a statement on the airstrikes Friday morning. 

“Soleimani was an enemy of the United States. That’s not a question,” committee member Sen. Chris Murphy (D-Conn.) wrote on Twitter. “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?”

Murphy added: “The justification for the assassination is to ‘deter future Iranian attacks.’ One reason we don’t generally assasinate foreign political officials is the belief that such action will get more, not less, Americans killed. That should be our real, pressing and grave worry tonight.”

Other Democrats on the committee, such as Sen. Tom Udall of New Mexico, said that Trump is bringing the U.S. “to the brink of an illegal war with Iran.”

“Passing our bipartisan amendment to prevent unconstitutional war with Iran is urgent,” Udall tweeted. “Congress needs to step in immediately.”

Sen. Cory Booker (D-N.J.), a member of the committee and a 2020 presidential candidate, was more hesitant in his response Thursday, telling CNN that Suleimani had “American blood on his hands” but that he’s concerned about Trump’s lack of foreign policy strategy in Iran and the Middle East in general.

Other 2020 candidates, including Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.)former Vice President Joe Biden and businessman Andrew Yang, also spoke out Thursday against the decision to kill Suleimani.

“When I voted against the war in Iraq in 2002, I feared it would lead to greater destabilization of the region. That fear unfortunately turned out to be true. The U.S. has lost approximately 4,500 brave troops, tens of thousands have been wounded, and we’ve spent trillions,” Sanders tweeted.

“Trump’s dangerous escalation brings us closer to another disastrous war in the Middle East that could cost countless lives and trillions more dollars,” he added. “Trump promised to end endless wars, but this action puts us on the path to another one.”

Not every 2020 Democratic candidate had an immediate response to the reports, though. Spokespeople for Rep. Tulsi Gabbard (Hawaii) and former South Bend, Indiana, Mayor Pete Buttigieg ― candidates who both served in the military ― did not immediately respond to HuffPost’s request for comment.

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Iraqis seen dancing in the street after Soleimani’s killing, Pompeo says

Westlake Legal Group 694940094001_6119388077001_6119396735001-vs Iraqis seen dancing in the street after Soleimani’s killing, Pompeo says fox-news/world/conflicts/iran fox-news/politics/foreign-policy fox news fnc/politics fnc f0c6daaa-ad01-5f8f-b463-6ae43decd41a Edmund DeMarche article

Mike Pompeo, the U.S. secretary of state, tweeted a video that he claimed showed Iraqis taking to the streets to celebrate the death of Iranian Gen. Qassim Soleimani.

WHO IS GEN. QASSIM SOLEIMANI?

Soleimani was the head of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps’ elite Quds Force. He was killed in a targeted U.S. military attack ordered by President Trump. His killing was seen as a major escalation between the U.S. and Iran.

It was not immediately clear where or when the footage in the tweet was recorded.

The Pentagon said in a statement that the attack was intended the thwart future Iranian attacks on U.S. personnel abroad. Iran slammed the attack as an unnecessary escalation and Democrats were swift to criticize Trump.

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Rep. Adam Schiff, D- Calif., tweeted that the world is better off without Soleimani, but  Trump attacked without getting authorization from Congress.

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Iran vows ‘harsh retaliation’ after US airstrike kills Iranian Gen. Qassem Soleimani

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Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei on Friday warned that a “harsh retaliation is waiting” for the U.S. after an airstrike on an airport in Baghdad killed Iranian Gen. Qassem Soleimani, the head of Iran’s elite Quds Force.

The Iranian state TV carried a statement by Khamenei who also called Soleimani “the international face of resistance.” Khamenei declared three days of public mourning for the general’s death.

TRUMP ORDERS ATTACK THAT KILLS IRANIAN GEN. QASSIM SOLEIMANI, OTHER MILITARY OFFICIALS IN BAGHDAD, PENTAGON SAYS

Another Iranian foreign minister warned that the U.S. would bear all the consequences of the “foolish” military attack, claiming his assassination would only escalate tensions in the region given that he was “THE most effective force” fighting terrorism carried out by the Islamic State.

Javad Zarif, the foreign minister of Islamic Republic of Iran, said on Twitter that “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.”

“The US bears responsibility for all consequences of its rogue adventurism,” he said.

Zarif references three affiliated Sunni Muslim extremist groups who’ve held territory in Iraq and Syria. The modern Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) has ties that date back to the

The Pentagon confirmed that President Trump ordered the early Friday-morning attack that killed Soleimani, the head of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps’ elite Quds Force, among other military officials at Baghdad International Airport. The airstrike hit in Iraq.

An adviser to Iran’s President Hassan Rouhani also quickly warned Trump of retaliation from Tehran.

“Trump through his gamble has dragged the U.S. into the most dangerous situation in the region,” Hessameddin Ashena wrote on the social media app Telegram. “Whoever put his foot beyond the red line should be ready to face its consequences.”

Soleimani is the military mastermind whom Secretary of State Mike Pompeo had deemed equally as dangerous as Islamic State leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi. In October, Baghdadi killed himself during a U.S. raid on a compound in northwest Syria, seven months after the so-called ISIS “caliphate” crumbled as the terrorist group lost its final swath of Syrian territory in March.

The overnight attack occurred amid tensions with the U.S. after an Iran-backed militia attacked the U.S. Embassy in Baghdad, which was targeted Tuesday by angry mobs who were protesting recent U.S. airstrikes. The two-day siege outside of the U.S. Embassy in Baghdad came to an end Wednesday afternoon after dozens of pro-Iran militiamen and their supporters withdrew from the compound.

Soleimani was the long-running leader of the elite intelligence wing called Quds Force – which itself has been a designated terror group since 2007, and is estimated to be 20,000 strong. Considered one of the most powerful men in Iran, he routinely was referred to as its “shadow commander” or “spymaster.”

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In April 2019, the State Department announced Iran was responsible for killing 608 U.S. troops during the Iraq War. Soleimani was the head of the Iranian and Iranian-backed forces carrying out those operations killing American troops. According to the State Department, 17 percent of all deaths of U.S. personnel in Iraq from 2003 to 2011 were orchestrated by Soleimani.

As recently as 2015, a travel ban and United Nations Security Council resolutions had barred Soleimani from leaving Iran.

Friday’s Baghdad strike also killed Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis, the deputy commander of Iran-backed militias known as the Popular Mobilization Forces, a source told Fox News. In all, at least seven people were killed and at least three rockets were fired, officials told The Associated Press. An official with the Popular Mobilization Forces said its airport protocol officer, Mohammed Reda, also died.

Fox News’ Frank Miles, Lucas Tomlinson, John Roberts, Mike Arroyo and The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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