On Tuesday, Iran launched numerous missiles at the al-Asad airbase that houses American troops in Iraq. It was part of a retaliatory attack for the United States killing Qasem Soleimani, the General of the Quds Force and a known terrorist.
Although President Donald Trump previously threatened to hold Iran responsible by "hit[ting] them harder than they have ever been hit before," Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) reminded the president that he must receive Congressional approval before going to war with Iran.
I am praying for the safety of our troops in Iraq tonight. While I would have preferred they come home long ago, there is also no excuse for this action by Iran.— Senator Rand Paul (@RandPaul) January 8, 2020
We need to stop the escalation before it leads to another endless war in the Middle East.
In the meantime, the Administration needs to bring any discussion of war with Iran to the American people and their representatives in Congress, as the Constitution requires.— Senator Rand Paul (@RandPaul) January 8, 2020
On Saturday, multiple rockets attacked the fortified green zone in Baghdad, right near the U.S. embassy as Solemani's funeral began. Thankfully no injuries were sustained.
There are currently 5,000 American troops stationed in Iraq. They were sent there in 2014 to help defeat ISIS, which overran a third of the country. ISIS was defeated a couple of years ago but troops remained in the area to prevent the terrorist organization from reemerging and to train Iraqi security forces.
The embassy on Friday urged all Americans to leave Iraq immediately after tensions with Iran are on the rise.
“Due to heightened tensions in Iraq and the region, the U.S. Embassy urges American citizens to heed the January 2020 Travel Advisory and depart Iraq immediately. U.S. citizens should depart via airline while possible, and failing that, to other countries via land,” it said in a statement.