Maui News

US Airstrikes in Iraq and Death of Iranian General Prompt Reaction from Hawai‘i Delegation

January 3, 2020, 7:52 AM HST
* Updated January 3, 8:35 AM
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US Senator Mazie K. Hirono (D-Hawaiʻi), issued a statement today following the US airstrikes that killed Iranian General Qasem Soleimani.

Sen. Hirono, who serves as a ranking member of the Senate Armed Services Subcommittee on Seapower said, “General Soleimani was a reprehensible figure responsible for the deaths of hundreds of American service members and thousands of innocent people around the world.”

She continued saying, “His death in a US airstrike further escalates hostilities and increases the potential for widespread violence in a part of the world already fraught with peril.”

“In normal times, we could have confidence that the President – fully cognizant of the potential ramifications of this strike – was mobilizing a whole of government response and coordinating with our allies to seek a diplomatic outcome. But these are not normal times,” she said, “Congress must reassert its Constitutional responsibility and demand the president seek authorization prior to any military conflict with Iran.”

The US Department of Defense on Thursday issued information saying the US military action was taken at the direction of the President to protect US personnel abroad.

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Qasem Soleimani is described as the head of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps-Quds Force, a US-designated Foreign Terrorist Organization, according to the Department of Defense.

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“General Soleimani was actively developing plans to attack American diplomats and service members in Iraq and throughout the region. General Soleimani and his Quds Force were responsible for the deaths of hundreds of American and coalition service members and the wounding of thousands more. He had orchestrated attacks on coalition bases in Iraq over the last several months – including the attack on Dec. 27 – culminating in the death and wounding of additional American and Iraqi personnel. General Soleimani also approved the attacks on the US Embassy in Baghdad that took place this week,” according to information released by the Department of Defense.

DOD officials say the strike was aimed at deterring future Iranian attack plans. “The United States will continue to take all necessary action to protect our people and our interests wherever they are around the world,” according to the Department.

In a series of Tweets this morning, President Donald Trump said:

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“General Qassem Soleimani has killed or badly wounded thousands of Americans over an extended period of time, and was plotting to kill many more…but got caught! He was directly and indirectly responsible for the death of millions of people, including the recent large number of PROTESTERS killed in Iran itself. While Iran will never be able to properly admit it, Soleimani was both hated and feared within the country. They are not nearly as saddened as the leaders will let the outside world believe. He should have been taken out many years ago!”

“The United States has paid Iraq Billions of Dollars a year, for many years. That is on top of all else we have done for them. The people of Iraq don’t want to be dominated & controlled by Iran, but ultimately, that is their choice. Over the last 15 years, Iran has gained more and more control over Iraq, and the people of Iraq are not happy with that. It will never end well!”

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