WILMINGTON, Del. - U.S. Senator Chris Coons (D-Del.), a member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, released the following statement after a U.S. airstrike killed Iranian Major General Qassim Soleimani, the leader of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) and commander of the Quds Force, which is responsible for directing Iranian military proxies throughout the Middle East.
“General Qassim Soleimani was a dangerous terrorist responsible for killing thousands of innocent men, women, and children, including Americans, throughout the Middle East. I do not mourn his passing. This air strike, though, dramatically escalates tensions with Iran and places the tens of thousands of American military forces, diplomats, and embassy staff in the region in even more danger than before. The Administration’s stated goal for this strike was deterrence, but without a clear strategy and the support of our allies, this attack makes the risk of another large scale military conflict in the Middle East more likely at a time when the American people rightly want to bring more of our men and women in uniform home safely.
“The Trump Administration must present a strategy for not only protecting ourselves and our allies, but for working with our allies and partners to deter further escalation from Iran and its proxies. This is particularly critical after last week’s joint military exercises between Iran, China, and Russia. If the President wants to consider additional military action against Iran, he is obligated to seek authorization from Congress for a broader use of military force.
“The American people deserve a clear, comprehensive strategy for our country’s role in the Middle East from the Trump Administration. I will continue to demand they present that in the coming days.”