Monday, 17 February, 2020


Trump fuels controversy over Iran general's killing, United States News & Top Stories

Israeli Prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu delivers a statement to the media in Jerusalem Israeli Prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu delivers a statement to the media in Jerusalem
Conrad Doyle | 15 January, 2020, 06:20

However, in a highly unsafe move, the United States assassinated this anti-terror general in Baghdad on January 3.

After Pompeo insisted that "there was active plotting underway by Qassem Soleimani himself and all those around him", Baier pressed the secretary of state on whether there was concern that congressional Democrats would leak information if they were alerted about the attack ahead of time.

"It's clear now this was an illegal action. That also has made America less safe", he said, noting an NBC News report that Mr Trump authorised the killing of General Soleimani seven months ago.

Though President Donald Trump opted not to respond to an Iranian missile attack on bases housing United States troops in Iraq last week, tensions between Washington and Tehran remain high.

The comments came after growing questions about what led to the January 3 airstrike that took out Gen. Qassem Soleimani, head of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps' elite Quds Force.

This time, Esper said that the United States can indeed strike Iran, "if it is consistent with the Commander in Chief's authorities under Article 2", referring to the article of the Constitution that allows the president to order military action in the event of an attack on American forces, on the condition that it later be approved by Congress. He said Major-Gen Soleimani was a "legitimate military target" and the strike was a "legitimate act of self-defence". "That hopefully. will result in the deterrence that we're looking for".

They also argued that the US Constitution gives Congress, not the president, the authority to declare war, and called for the Senate and House of Representatives to act to take that authority back from the White House. As noted earlier, Esper had no plan to share intelligence information on the issue with the entire US Congress: "Defense Secretary Mark Esper said Sunday that the top congressional intelligence committee members did not think that information shared with them about a potential Iranian plot to attack the U.S. Embassy in Baghdad should be shared with other members of Congress".

While Mr Esper said he agreed with Mr Trump that additional attacks against U.S. embassies were likely, he said on CBS's Face the Nation that Mr Trump's remarks to Fox News were not based on specific evidence of attacks on four embassies. "What the president said was that there probably could be additional attacks against embassies".

"I don't know who used it first, but it reflects what we saw", Pompeo said.

The House voted almost along party lines last week to pass a war powers resolution that would force the president to seek congressional approval for further military action against Iran. "The president didn't cite a specific piece of evidence".

"I didn't see one with regard to four embassies", Esper told reporters.

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