Connecticut Delegation Wants Congress Recalled Over Iran Strike | Connecticut Public Radio

Connecticut Delegation Wants Congress Recalled Over Iran Strike

Jan 3, 2020

Connecticut’s two Democratic U.S. senators condemned the killing of Iranian Maj. Gen. Qassem Soleimani in a U.S. drone strike at Baghdad Airport Thursday night.

Sens. Richard Blumenthal and Chris Murphy believe the strike may lead to reprisals from Iran.

Murphy called the operation  an “act of war” and said he thinks the military leader will now be seen as a martyr.

“The stated reason for the assassination of Gen. Soleimani was to prevent attacks against the United States,” said Murphy at a news conference Friday in Hartford. “My guess is that the assassination of Soleimani will lead to greater harm to U.S. personnel, U.S. citizens and U.S. interests.”

Blumenthal echoed Murphy’s concern over the strategy behind the killing. He also questioned the decision to go ahead with the airstrike without having support from allies like Great Britain and Germany. 

Other members of the state’s congressional delegation have also sounded a note of caution about the raid that killed Soleimani. Fourth District Rep. Jim Himes said he was shocked when he heard about the drone strike.

Himes called the act “very aggressive” and said Congress should have been consulted.

“Soleimani is not a good guy, but the question is not whether or not he’s a good guy or a bad guy, the question is whether killing him serves our interests in the region, and it’s not clear to me the answer to that question is yes,” Himes said.

He’s also concerned that Iran will retaliate and added his voice to calls for the Trump administration and Congress to figure out what comes next.

First District Rep. John Larson called Soleimani a bad actor and said the president does have the power to use his executive authority for limited strikes. However, in a statement, he called for Congress to come back into session immediately to be briefed and said the airstrike was “tantamount to an act of war against Iran.”

The 2nd District’s Joe Courtney said the killing was “the wrong way to isolate Iranian bad behavior and wind down our involvement in the Middle East.”

Rosa DeLauro of the 3rd District called the administration’s decision to conduct the operation without consulting Congress, and without a specific authorization for the use of military force, “very troubling.”

“The use of lethal force by the United States in the international arena must always be carefully considered --taking into account the potential backlash and harm that may befall our servicemembers, our diplomats, our national security interests, and our allies,” DeLauro said in a statement.

“In a volatile region where we have seen our embassy attacked in the last week, and where we have deployed additional troops to support our personnel, every action must be carefully considered to ensure that we avoid bringing the United States into another deadly, protracted armed conflict,” DeLauro said.

Roberto Rojas of WSHU contributed to this report.