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 TrumpHouse panel approves 0.5B defense policy bill House panel votes against curtailing Insurrection Act powers after heated debate House panel votes to constrain Afghan drawdown, ask for assessment on 'incentives' to attack US troops 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 MeadowsHouse Republicans urge White House to support TSA giving travelers temperature checks The Hill's Morning Report - Republicans shift, urge people to wear masks Overnight Defense: Democrats blast Trump handling of Russian bounty intel | Pentagon leaders set for House hearing July 9 | Trump moves forward with plan for Germany drawdown 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 RubioJennifer Aniston urges fans to 'wear a damn mask:' 'It really shouldn't be a debate' OVERNIGHT ENERGY: House approves .5T green infrastructure plan | Rubio looks to defense bill to block offshore drilling, but some fear it creates a loophole | DC-area lawmakers push for analysis before federal agencies can be relocated The Hill's Coronavirus Report: Stagwell President Mark Penn says Trump is losing on fighting the virus; Fauci says U.S. 'going in the wrong direction' in fight against virus 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 MurphyConnecticut senators call for Subway to ban open carry of firearms Democrats optimistic about chances of winning Senate Gridlock mires chances of police reform deal 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?”