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Iran foreign minister warns killing of general is 'extremely dangerous & a foolish escalation'

Iran foreign minister warns killing of general is 'extremely dangerous & a foolish escalation'
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Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif lashed out at the United States late Thursday after the Pentagon confirmed that President TrumpDonald John TrumpTrump admin to announce coronavirus vaccine will be covered under Medicare, Medicaid: report Election officials say they're getting suspicious emails that may be part of malicious attack on voting: report McConnell tees up Trump judicial pick following Supreme Court vote MORE directed an airstrike in Iraq that killed one of Iran’s top generals, Qassem Soleimani.  

“The US' act of international terrorism, targeting & assassinating General Soleimani—THE most effective force fighting Daesh (ISIS), Al Nusrah, Al Qaeda et al—is extremely dangerous & a foolish escalation,” Zarif tweeted Thursday. “The US bears responsibility for all consequences of its rogue adventurism.” 

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The Pentagon announced in a Thursday statement that, “At the direction of the President, the U.S. military has taken decisive defensive action to protect U.S. personnel abroad by killing Qasem Soleimani, the head of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps-Quds Force, a U.S.-designated Foreign Terrorist Organization.” 

"This strike was aimed at deterring future Iranian attack plans," the Pentagon added. "The United States will continue to take all necessary action to protect our people and our interests wherever they are around the world." 

Soleimani was killed in the strike at Baghdad International Airport alongside Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis, the deputy commander of Iran-backed Iraqi militia the Popular Mobilization Forces. 

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Trump tweeted a picture of an American flag Thursday night after reports of the airstrike emerged.

His GOP allies in Congress lauded the move, saying that it was retaliation for recent conflicts in the region. The U.S. military struck an Iran-backed militia in Iraq Sunday after a rocket attack last week killed an American contractor and wounded four service members in the region.

The militia and its supporters stormed the U.S. Embassy in Baghdad on Tuesday, causing the U.S. military to deploy hundreds of troops to the area.

Rep. Mark MeadowsMark Randall MeadowsOvernight Health Care: US sets a new record for average daily coronavirus cases | Meadows on pandemic response: 'We're not going to control it' | Pelosi blasts Trump for not agreeing to testing strategy Hillicon Valley: Hospitals brace for more cyberattacks as coronavirus cases rise | Food service groups offer local alternatives to major delivery apps | Facebook says it helped 4.4M people register to vote Trump is cruising for a bruising MORE (R-N.C.) tweeted: “America has the greatest military in the world. God bless our soldiers.”

“The defensive actions the U.S. has taken against #Iran & its proxies are consistent with clear warnings they have received,” Sen. Marco RubioMarco Antonio RubioSenate GOP to drop documentary series days before election hitting China, Democrats over coronavirus Bipartisan group of senators call on Trump to sanction Russia over Navalny poisoning Trump's new interest in water resources — why now? MORE (R-Fla.) tweeted. “They chose to ignore these warnings because they believed @POTUS was constrained from acting by our domestic political divisions. They badly miscalculated.” 

But many lawmakers balked at the news as well, questioning whether the president had a plan following the airstrike or whether he had consulted with other leaders in Washington.

“Soleimani was an enemy of the United States. That’s not a question,” Sen. Chris MurphyChristopher (Chris) Scott MurphyDemocrats warn GOP will regret Barrett confirmation Democrats brace for nail-biting finish to Senate battle Senate Democrats hold talkathon to protest Barrett's Supreme Court nomination MORE (D-Conn.) tweeted. “The question is this - as reports suggest, did America just assassinate, without any congressional authorization, the second most powerful person in Iran, knowingly setting off a potential massive regional war?”