Published : Friday, January 3, 2020 | 6:36 PM
Pasadena Congresswoman Judy Chu spoke out Friday in favor of a Congressional briefing before any further military action involving Iran is taken.
“The President must brief Congress on his Iran policy before taking any further actions,” Chu said in a statement. “Further, Congress must reclaim our authority to declare war with legislation to prevent the President from starting a war with Iran without Congressional approval.”
Chu’s statement was in response to news of a U.S. missile strike Thursday that killed Iranian General Qasem Soleimani, the head of the Iranian Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps. The strike, directed towards an airport in Baghdad, also reportedly killed Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis, deputy head of the Iraqi Popular Mobilization Forces (PMF), an Iran-backed paramilitary force.
President Donald Trump said he ordered a precision strike to “terminate” Soleimami, who Trump said was plotting to attack Americans.
“We took action last night to stop a war. We did not take action to start a war,” Trump said Friday.
In her statement, Chu said she was deeply troubled by the escalation in tension as a result of the drone strike, adding that Trump “has failed to articulate a strategy” for Iran outside of fostering conflict.
“There is no denying that General Suleimani was an enemy of the U.S. and of peace, with the blood of thousands on his hands. But it is not clear how his killing will change Iran’s behavior,” Chu continued. “Nor is it clear how the President plans to respond to a likely retaliation from Iran. Without sober leadership, we could be dragged into a war nobody wants.”
Early Friday, the U.S. State Department urged all U.S. citizens in Iraq to leave immediately due to the heightened tension in the country and across the Middle East. It also ordered consular operations suspended at the U.S. Embassy compound in Baghdad, due to “Iranian-backed” militia attacks.