After Killing of Military Commander, Iran Vows Revenge Against U.S.


Live Updates By Louisa Loveluck and Adam Taylor 

Iran vowed to exact “severe revenge” on the United States after a drone strike killed Qasem Soleimani, one of the country’s top military figures, early Friday near the Baghdad airport. The targeted killing increased tensions in the region and caused U.S. outposts and personnel to brace for retaliatory attacks. The attack also upset global markets and sent oil prices shooting upward. Here are key points of what we know:

• Soleimani was a towering figure who was key in training Iran’s proxies around the region, especially in Iraq.

• Iran has vowed to retaliate against the United States. The U.S. Embassy in Iraq has called on all U.S. citizens to leave the country immediately.

• Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said Soleimani was planning new attacks against U.S. diplomats in the region and stressed that Washington is committed to de-escalation.

• Iraq’s politicians have roundly condemned the strike, describing it as both a violation of its sovereignty and the agreement allowing U.S. forces in the country.

6:43 p.m.

Menendez says he was not briefed by Trump administration on strike

WASHINGTON — Sen. Robert Menendez (N.J.), the top Democrat on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee and a prominent voice on Iran policy, said he was not briefed on the Soleimani strike and called on the Trump administration to deliver more answers to Congress on what prompted the attack.

“I fear that this administration used tactics but has no strategy in the long term,” Menendez said in an MSNBC appearance, “and what we cannot accept is a march to an unauthorized war.”

Before he was killed in Baghdad on Jan. 3, Maj. Gen. Qasem Soleimani rose from an impoverished childhood to lead Iran’s proxy efforts across the Middle East. (Alexa Ard, Sarah Parnass/The Washington Post)

Lawmakers “need to see the facts,” he added. “If they can prove through the intelligence that this was an imminent threat against U.S. interests and personnel and that it was defensive in nature, then maybe it has the authority to [strike Soleimani]. But if they cannot … we see a gradual march to military action directly or indirectly with Iran, that has not been authorized by Congress. And if that’s where you’re headed, then you need to come to Congress to get an authorization for the use of military force.”

Menendez also speculated about possible retaliatory attacks that Iran may be considering, ranging from actions by proxy groups against U.S. allies such as Israel and Saudi Arabia, to targeting the region’s oil production capacity, to even attacks on the U.S. homeland.

“They can have sleeper cells in the United States,” he said. “It is possible to see sympathizers and supporters of the Quds Force in Iran make attacks here.”

By Mike DeBonis

6:09 p.m.

Trump tweets that United States has been paying Iraq ‘Billions of Dollars a year’

WASHINGTON — Trump tweeted Friday morning that the United States has been paying large sums of money to Iraq “on top of all else we have done for them” and criticized the influence of Iran in the country.

“The people of Iraq don’t want to be dominated & controlled by Iran, but ultimately, that is their choice,” Trump added, before tweeting that the people of Iraq were not happy with the influence of Iran over their country. “It will never end well!”

By Adam Taylor


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