Pelosi says Trump launched strike killing Iranian general without authorization

Speaker Nancy PelosiNancy PelosiBottom line This week: Surveillance fight sets early test for House's proxy voting Women suffering steeper job losses in COVID-19 economy MORE (D-Calif.) on Thursday said that an airstrike that killed Iranian Maj. Gen. Qassem Soleimani was not authorized and Congress was not consulted on the decision. 

“The Administration has conducted tonight’s strikes in Iraq targeting high-level Iranian military officials and killing Iranian Quds Force Commander Qasem Soleimani without an Authorization for Use of Military Force (AUMF) against Iran," Pelosi said in a statement.

"Further, this action was taken without the consultation of the Congress," she added. 

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She also said the move provoked "further dangerous escalation of violence."

"We cannot put the lives of American service members, diplomats and others further at risk by engaging in provocative and disproportionate actions," the top House Democrat said. 

"Tonight’s airstrike risks provoking further dangerous escalation of violence. America — and the world — cannot afford to have tensions escalate to the point of no return," she added. 

Pelosi said that Congress must be briefed on the situation and be informed of the next steps that are being considered. 

Secretary of State Mike PompeoMichael (Mike) Richard PompeoChinese state media: Wuhan conducted 6.5 million coronavirus tests in 9 days The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Facebook - Americans debate life under COVID-19 risks The 10 Senate seats most likely to flip MORE has defended the strike, saying that it was in response to "imminent threats to American lives."

He said in a CNN interview that Soleimani "was actively plotting in the region to take actions ... that would have put dozens if not hundreds of American lives at risk." 

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Iran, meanwhile, has vowed “harsh retaliation."

The Pentagon announced Thursday that Soleimani had been killed.

Iraqi state TV first reported that Soleimani and Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis, the deputy commander of the Iranian-backed Iraqi militia Popular Mobilization Forces, were killed at Baghdad International Airport.