Congressman Alcee L. Hastings (D-FL) issued the following statement after the Trump administration conducted a deadly airstrike targeting a top Iranian commander at the Baghdad International Airport:
“Iranian Quds Force Commander Qasem Soleimani was a ruthless killer responsible for the deaths and injuries of thousands, particularly United States soldiers, when he introduced Iranian-made IEDs in Iraq, in addition to torturing and killing thousands in Iraq and elsewhere.
“Congress must be called into session to debate and pass a new Authorization for Use of Military Force (AUMF), given that since 2001, the United States has been guided by a broadly written AUMF that has frozen Congress out of conversations related to military engagements across the globe. Many Members of Congress, myself included, have demanded that this be debated publicly and with full transparency, because for far too long Congress has not had the opportunity to weigh in on decisions to commit American troops overseas. This cannot continue!
“Our allies must have awakened this morning fearful. Particularly, Israel, Jordan, Saudi Arabia, UAE and other Gulf allies, because while Soleimani was hated by many, many feel that he is a martyr and he has proxies all over the Middle East and Europe. We should immediately harden our embassies and soft targets around the world. The shipping straits in the Gulf are endangered, cyber security is a threat, and clearly in this very complex situation, there are going to be grave consequences. American citizens should be placed on high travel alert.
“This action will only embolden Quds forces, the Iranian guard, Hezbollah, and the popular parliamentary forces that are Shia in Iraq.”
Congressman Alcee L. Hastings serves as Vice-Chairman of the House Rules Committee, Chairman of the U.S. Helsinki Commission, and Co-Chairman of the Florida Delegation.