Pelosi urges end to 'needless provocations' after Iran missile attack

Pelosi urges end to 'needless provocations' after Iran missile attack
© Greg Nash

Speaker Nancy PelosiNancy PelosiRepublicans will pay on Election Day for politicizing Trump's impeachment Trump chooses high-profile but controversial legal team Trump: Impeachment timing intended to hurt Sanders MORE (D-Calif.) on Tuesday night called for an end to “needless provocations” from the Trump administration shorty after Iran claimed responsibility for launching unspecified projectiles at a military base housing U.S. troops in Iraq.

“Closely monitoring the situation following bombings targeting U.S. troops in Iraq,” Pelosi tweeted. “We must ensure the safety of our service members, including ending needless provocations from the Administration and demanding that Iran cease its violence.” 

She added that America and the world “cannot afford war.”

Pelosi had huddled with members of the Democratic Steering Committee on Tuesday in the Capitol, where she was handed a note about the strike in Iraq. She later spoke by phone with Vice President Pence, who briefed her on the attack, according to her spokesman.

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The Pentagon said in a statement that Iran launched more than a "dozen ballistic missiles against U.S. military and coalition forces in Iraq" on Tuesday night. The department said the missiles were "launched from Iran and targeted at least two Iraqi military bases hosting U.S. military and coalition personnel at Al-Assad and Irbil."

The attack came days after Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei vowed a “harsh retaliation” for the U.S. following the killing of Gen. Qassem Soleimani, a powerful Iranian military official who led the country's elite Quds Force.

Soleimani was killed in a U.S. drone strike on Friday that was approved by President TrumpDonald John TrumpNational Archives says it altered Trump signs, other messages in Women's March photo Dems plan marathon prep for Senate trial, wary of Trump trying to 'game' the process Democratic lawmaker dismisses GOP lawsuit threat: 'Take your letter and shove it' MORE. The president said the operation was an effort by the U.S. "to stop a war" and that there was evidence that Soleimani was plotting attacks against Americans.

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The drone strike fueled concerns about Iranian retaliation among many Americans over the weekend.

Later on Tuesday, White House press secretary Stephanie GrishamStephanie GrishamHill.TV's Saagar Enjeti on impeachment: 'CNN can see through this nonsense' The Hill's 12:30 Report: Senate receives impeachment articles as trial opens Republicans criticize Pelosi for gifting pens used to sign impeachment articles MORE said in a statement that Trump had been made aware of reports of attacks on U.S. facilities in Iraq.

"The President has been briefed and is monitoring the situation closely and consulting with his national security team," she added.

Trump has said that the U.S. is prepared to hit 52 Iranian sites "very fast and very hard" if the country retaliated for Soleimani’s death in the U.S. drone strike. He also repeatedly threatened to target cultural sites in Iran in the event of a retaliation.

Mike Lillis contributed.