Democratic Connecticut Sen. Chris Murphy said Thursday that the assassination of top Iranian Gen. Qasem Soleimani could be the “most significant” one ever accomplished by America.
The leader of Iran’s elite Quds Force was killed during an airstrike Thursday ordered by President Donald Trump near the Baghdad, Iraq, airport, the Pentagon said in a statement. Soleimani was “actively developing plans” to attack American diplomats and service members in Iraq, the statement read. (RELATED: Trump Tweets American Flag After US Kills Top Iranian Military Leader)
“This could be the most significant foreign political leader the United States has ever assassinated …” Murphy said when speaking to MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow on “The Rachel Maddow Show.” Murphy is a member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee.
He added that “this a very, very dangerous moment” and that there is the possibility of America getting “into a conflict in the region.” Murphy noted that the United States is “very careful about these kinds of things” because of potential “consequences.”
Murphy continued on to say that “you can’t do this without congressional authorization.” He also tweeted wondering if America assassinated “second most powerful person in Iran” without congressional approval.
The tweet was met with backlash from Republican Nebraska Sen. Ben Sasse, who called it “drunk partisanship.”
This tweet is simply drunk partisanship. Gen. Soleimani has killed hundreds and hundreds of Americans, and was actively plotting more. This commander-in-chief — any C-in-C. — has an obligation to defend America by killing this bastard. https://t.co/eQmiCgegxS
— Senator Ben Sasse (@SenSasse) January 3, 2020
Following the assassination, Washington Times reporter Mike Glenn wrote that he wasn’t “sad that he [Soleimani] got greased.” Glenn noted that the Quds Force leader was “directly responsible” for many American military deaths in Iraq.
I’m a reporter but I was a Soldier for several years and led a platoon of cavalry troops into combat in Iraq. Qassim Solemani was directly responsible for the deaths of scores of American military personnel in Iraq.
I’m not sad that he got greased. Not a damn bit.
— Mike Glenn (@mrglenn) January 3, 2020
Reporter Yashar Ali tweeted about the “extraordinary” power that Soleimani often displayed, even though “Iran has an elected president and foreign minister.” Ali included a screenshot of a 2011 article from The Guardian reporting on a text message Soleimani sent then-Director of the Central Intelligence Agency David Petraeus.
“General Petraeus, you should know that I, Qassem Suleimani, control the policy for Iran with respect to Iraq, Lebanon, Gaza, and Afghanistan,” the text message began.
4. If you want to understand how powerful Soleimani is all you have to look to is a text he sent to David Petraeus. This text is an extraordinary (yet unsurprising) display of power. Especially since Iran has an elected president and foreign minister. https://t.co/3QdthfC01P pic.twitter.com/oTs6Z0mjkB
— Yashar Ali ???? (@yashar) January 3, 2020
Soleimani’s death will escalate tensions in the Middle East. The Quds Force have provided supported terrorist groups for years. (RELATED: ‘They Are Liars, And They Don’t Care About You’: Tucker Warns Of ‘Reckless And Incompetent’ Proponents Of War With Iran)
“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 Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps-Quds Force, a U.S.-designated Foreign Terrorist Organization,” the Pentagon said.
Leader of Kataeb Hezbollah Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis was also reportedly killed in the drone strike. Kataeb Hezbollah, an Iraqi paramilitary group, attempted to break into the U.S. embassy in Baghdad Dec. 31.
Soleimani directed the embassy attack, the Pentagon said. (RELATED: Militiamen Withdraw From Attack On US Embassy In Baghdad)