After the U.S. airstrike last week that killed Iranian General Qassem Soleimani and others, Iran launched missile strikes Tuesday against two Iraqi military bases housing U.S. forces. No casualties have been reported so far at the Al Asad and Erbil bases.
While President Donald Trump is expected to speak Wednesday on the strikes, the freshman Michigan congresswoman who is leading a resolution limiting his actions in Iran had sober words on the situation.
U.S. Rep. Elissa Slotkin (D-Holly), a former CIA and Pentagon official with years of experience analyzing Shia militias who has done intelligence tours in Iraq, said, “There is nothing that prepares you for the sound of incoming fire.
“Tonight, I’m watching the coverage and thinking of our service members and diplomats who are in harm’s way, and about their families back at home worried about them,” she added. “While we don’t yet know the full extent of tonight’s military activity, if it’s indeed true that Iranians fired conventional ballistic missiles at U.S. targets, it would be unprecedented.”
Slotkin also warned, “We are now in a cycle of escalation that threatens to draw us into wider war. The President and his team should remember the gravity of their responsibilities and be prepared to explain their strategic plan — to include next steps and possible ways to de-escalate. They owe the American public no less.”
The Democratic-led U.S. House is expected to vote on the resolution this week.
U.S. Rep. Rashida Tlaib (D-Detroit) railed against “Trump’s reckless and dangerous attempt to start a war with Iran.”
“It should not be lost on anyone that lives will be forever impacted, including innocent Iraqis who have been plagued with war and violence for almost two decades,” she added. “While there is still much we do not know about this heartbreaking development, one thing is certain: the United States cannot afford to engage in yet another tragic war with no end in sight and a rising tally of casualties.”
U.S. Rep. Dan Kildee (D-Flint) said he’s “closely monitoring the situation in the Middle East after Iran targeted American troops with missile attacks. My thoughts are with our brave American service members serving in harm’s way. Ensuring the safety of American service members and citizens must be our immediate and top priority.”
He added that “the president’s increasingly confrontational approach with Iran is escalating this already grave situation. It is my hope that this situation does not escalate further, which would put more American lives at risk. The President owes the American people a plan on how he plans to prevent this conflict from spiraling out of control.”
The U.S. House’s only independent, U.S. Rep. Justin Amash (I-Cascade Twp.), wrote on Twitter Tuesday night to “please pray for our troops who are in harm’s way and for their families.”
But Amash, a libertarian who has long critiqued presidential war powers, added, “The president has inherent authority to repel sudden attacks, but any military engagement beyond that requires approval from Congress under our Constitution.”
Republicans largely have rallied to Trump’s side since last week, with U.S. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) taking to the floor on Monday to chastise Democrats.
“The Senate is supposed to be the chamber where overheated partisan passions give way to sober judgment,” McConnell said. “Can we not at least wait until we know the facts? Can we not maintain a shred, just a shred, of national unity for five minutes before deepening the partisan trenches?”
U.S. Rep. Fred Upton (R-St. Joseph) on Tuesday night wrote on Twitter, “Peace in the Middle East has always been the goal, yet never achieved. The fury is as intense as ever. Somehow that fire has to be extinguished – we pray for wisdom and for our troops tonight.”