Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC) Qods Force Commander Lieutenant General Qassem Soleimani was martyred in a targeted assassination raid by US aircraft in Baghdad early Friday morning. The airstrike also martyred Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis, deputy commander of Iraq’s Popular Mobilization Forces (PMF), or Hashad al-Shabi.
“We’ve got to be clear-eyed about the situation that we are in,” Gabbard told Fox News Monday.
“Speeding towards an all-out war with Iran will make the wars that we’ve seen in Iraq and Afghanistan look like a picnic,” Gabbard, an Iraq War veteran, warned.
“It will be far more costly in American lives and American taxpayer dollars … [and] all toward accomplishing what goal? What objective? I think that’s really at the crux at this decision that Trump made to take out Soleimani,” she said.
The 2020 candidate also responded to retaliatory threats from Hezbollah leader Seyed Hassan Nasrallah, who stated Sunday that US soldiers in the Middle East would “return home in coffins”.
“I think that this statement is further affirmation [that] this step that Trump took is a serious escalation of this war that further puts the American people and our troops in the region at risk,” she noted.
Five Iranian and five Iraqi militaries were also martyred by missiles fired by the US drone at Baghdad International Airport.
The Pentagon confirmed the attack in a statement.
The attack came amid tensions that started by the US attack on PMF units that killed 28 Iraqi popular forces. A day later, Iraqi people attacked the US embassy in Baghdad. On Wednesday, Trump ordered about 750 US soldiers deployed to the Middle East.
The assault represents a dramatic escalation by the US toward Iran after months of tensions. The tensions take root in Trump’s decision in May 2018 to withdraw the US from Iran’s nuclear deal with world powers, struck under his predecessor.
Iranian officials branded the airstrike an “act of international terrorism” and promised retaliation. Supreme Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyed Ali Khamenei has stated that the Unites States must await a tough revenge.