US Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard, one of the Democratic Party contenders in the 2020 presidential race, said American armed forces must leave Iraq and Syria, instead of pushing towards war.
“End #TrumpsWar now. Remove our troops from Iraq and Syria,” the politician from Hawaii tweeted on Saturday.
Gabbard, a longtime critic of US-led interventions and regime-change wars, had earlier argued that killing Soleimani “was an act of war, with no authorization or declaration of war from Congress.”
US President Donald Trump “has put us in a state of war with Iran and has seriously escalated this tit-for-tat conflict, pushing us deeper into an endless quagmire,” she said in a video address. Later on Fox & Friends, Gabbard stressed that by approving the raid Trump was “clearly violating the Constitution.”
Major General Soleimani was killed in a drone strike at Baghdad’s airport on Friday morning. Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis, the deputy commander of Iran-backed militias the Popular Mobilization Forces (PMF), and eight other officials died with him.
US State Secretary Mike Pompeo and the Pentagon insisted that Soleimani was killed in order to prevent future attacks by Iran against US army personnel and civilians. Tehran, in turn, called the action an act of “international terrorism” and vowed to retaliate.
The operation was heavily criticized by the Democrats, including senators and 2020 hopefuls Joe Biden, Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders, as well House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, who is leading the impeachment of Trump. They all said that the killing of Soleimani further increases tensions in the Middle East and brings Washington closer to an open war with Iran.
Trump’s allies in the Republican Party, on the other hand, welcomed the airstrike, with Senator Lindsey Graham calling it “a preemptive, defensive” action against Iran.
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