The Pentagon on Thursday evening confirmed that the American military, at the direction of President Donald Trump, conducted a targeted strike in Iraq that successfully killed Qasem Soleimani, the head of Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) Quds Force, a U.S.-designated Foreign Terrorist Organization.
A Department of Defense release outlined, “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.”
“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,” the release concluded.
Yellowhammer News on Friday gathered reactions from Alabama congressional members, as well as one former member looking to win his old seat back.
In a statement, U.S. Senator Richard Shelby (R-AL) said, “I commend President Trump’s swift and decisive action to eliminate a dangerous terrorist responsible for the deaths of hundreds of American soldiers. This strike demonstrates the President’s determination to protect the lives of Americans, and I support his strong action.”
U.S. Senator Doug Jones (D-AL) stated, “I commend our intelligence personnel for their critical role and our military personnel who successfully implemented President Trump’s orders. Qassim Soleimani was responsible for the deaths of countless American service members and innocent civilians. The world is most certainly a better place without him at the helm of Iran’s notorious Quds Force.”
“However, tensions will surely escalate in an already tense relationship with Iran and briefing Congress before any further action is essential,” he continued. “Our first priority must be to keep U.S. service members and Americans in the region and throughout the world safe and to work with our allies to stabilize the situation.”
In a series of tweets, Congressman Bradley Byrne (AL-01) commented, “Qasem Soleimani was a terrorist who attacked and killed American citizens and allies. President Trump’s decisive actions send an unmistakable message that Soleimani and Iran will be held accountable and that the United States will protect our people and interests.”
Tonight President @realDonaldTrump and the United States sent a clear message to Iran and the world. Unlike the disaster in Benghazi, this entire situation shows the importance of decisive action and strong leadership.
— Bradley Byrne (@BradleyByrne) January 3, 2020
“Soleimani was responsible for the death of American citizens and just ordered an attack on our embassy. Remarkable to see some people trying to attack our President for taking decisive action,” Byrne added.
“I commend @realDonaldTrump for taking decisive action to eliminate a terrorist mastermind responsible for American deaths who was still plotting to harm us. Incredible work done by our Armed Forces and Intel Community.”-@RepMikeRogersAL
— House Homeland GOP (@HomelandGOP) January 3, 2020
Congressman Robert Aderholt (AL-04) tweeted, “Qassem Soleimani was a terrorist. He is no longer and he will never kill another American military member or citizen. [President Trump] took the decisive action that Soleimani’s evil required.”
Social media posts or statements from the rest of Alabama’s federal delegation were not made available to Yellowhammer News as of noon on Friday.
Former U.S. Senator and Attorney General Jeff Sessions tweeted, “Qassim Suleimani was a terrorist and a murderous figure, who directed the extreme Iranian Islamic Quds force, which was responsible for the killing and maiming of hundreds of Americans and our allies.”
“Suleimani’s death was fully justified to defend the legitimate interests of the United States and our embassy in Iraq. The skill and decisive action of our American forces should be praised,” he concluded.
Sean Ross is the editor of Yellowhammer News. You can follow him on Twitter @sean_yhn