Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) criticized President Donald Trump for ordering an airstrike that killed a top Iranian military leader who was behind the deaths of Americans.
“Trump’s dangerous escalation brings us closer to another disastrous war in the Middle East that could cost countless lives and trillions more dollars,” Sanders wrote on Twitter after Iranian Gen. Qasem Soleimani died Thursday evening in a U.S. airstrike in Baghdad, Iraq. “Trump promised to end endless wars, but this action puts us on the path to another one.”
Sanders also wrote, “I was right about Vietnam. I was right about Iraq. I will do everything in my power to prevent a war with Iran. I apologize to no one.”
According to Peter Bergen, CNN national security analyst, Soleimani “oversaw operations against US servicemen in Iraq by Shia militias in which hundreds of American servicemen were killed following the US invasion of Iraq in 2003.” Trump “authorized five airstrikes on Sunday against targets in Iraq and Syria that were associated with an Iran-backed militia that the US blamed for a recent attack on an American military base in Iraq that resulted in the death of a US contractor and in which several American servicemen were wounded.”
Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.), a Democratic presidential candidate, expressed similar criticism of the airstrike.
“Soleimani was a murderer, responsible for the deaths of thousands, including hundreds of Americans. But this reckless move escalates the situation with Iran and increases the likelihood of more deaths and new Middle East conflict. Our priority must be to avoid another costly war,” she wrote on Twitter.
Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.) said the Trump administration should seek authorization from Congress regarding military action against Iran.
“Qassem Soleimani was responsible for directing Iran’s destabilizing action in Iraq, Syria, and throughout the Middle East, including attacks against U.S. forces. But the timing, manner, and potential consequences of the Administration’s actions raise serious questions and concerns about an escalating conflict,” the Democratic presidential candidate said in a statement.
“Our immediate focus needs to be on ensuring all necessary security measures are taken to protect U.S. military and diplomatic personnel in Iraq and throughout the region. The Administration needs to fully consult with Congress on its decision-making, response plans, and strategy for preventing a wider conflict,” she added.