While Republicans applaud airstrike, Democrats fear the worst

WASHINGTON — A U.S. military airstrike that targeted and killed one of Iran’s most powerful military leaders has sent shock waves through Congress.

While Republicans are applauding the attack, Democrats say they fear the move will escalate tensions with Iran for the worst.

U.S. Sen. Chris Murphy (D-CT) says the White House should have consulted with Congress before the airstrike that killed Gen. Qassem Soleimani.

“The question we have to be asking ourselves today is whether Qassem Soleimani is more dangerous to the United States alive or dead,” Murphy said.

By midday Friday, the Pentagon ordered more than 3,000 additional troops to the Middle East to prepare for counter-attacks. And the state department issued a travel warning, urging Americans to leave Iraq immediately.

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo says Soleimani was responsible for the deaths of hundreds of American servicemen and servicewomen — and was plotting more attacks.

“The risk of doing nothing was enormous,” Pompeo said. “The intelligence community made that assessment.”

U.S. Sen. Pat Roberts (R-KS), who is also a Marine veteran, says Iran brought the situation on itself.

“You can’t sit by and do nothing,” he said.

U.S. Rep. Adam Kinzinger (R-IL) agrees.

“Will there be escalation? Yes. But the escalation is not on our part,” he said. “We’re finally responding to continued provocations by Iran.”

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell says the Trump administration will brief the entire Senate on the attack early next week.