Buttigieg: Attacking cultural sites 'would be a war crime'

Buttigieg: Attacking cultural sites 'would be a war crime'
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Democratic presidential candidate Pete ButtigiegPete ButtigiegThe Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Facebook - Congress avoids shutdown Harris's office undergoes difficult reset The Hill's 12:30 Report: Biden to announce increased measures for omicron MORE on Tuesday said that President TrumpDonald TrumpHillicon Valley — State Dept. employees targets of spyware Ohio Republican Party meeting ends abruptly over anti-DeWine protesters Jan. 6 panel faces new test as first witness pleads the Fifth MORE attacking Iranian cultural sites would constitute a war crime under international law. 

The comments from the former South Bend, Ind., mayor and Afghanistan War veteran came after Trump warned Iran that the U.S. has targeted 52 sites, including cultural sites, it would strike if Iran attacks the U.S., a threat the president seemed to back off of on Tuesday.

“Attacking cultural monuments in Iran would be a war crime under international laws,” Buttigieg tweeted Tuesday. “We are a nation of laws. We will act to keep America safe, not destroy cultural sites like the Taliban and ISIS have done.”

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Buttigieg added that if he wins the White House, his orders would “not put our troops in legal jeopardy.”

Trump’s warning came after he ordered an airstrike last week that killed top Iranian commander Gen. Qassem Soleimani. 

Democrats have criticized Trump for the move, which they argue brings the U.S. closer to war. 

Trump has also been criticized for his comments about hitting cultural sites, which human rights organizations stressed would be considered a war crime under international law.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellUS could default within weeks absent action on debt limit: analysis The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Facebook - Congress avoids shutdown Senate dodges initial December crisis with last-minute deal MORE (R-Ky.) broke from Trump on Tuesday, telling reporters it is “not appropriate” to threaten Iranian cultural sites.