Top lawmakers call for prayer, unity after Iran launches missile attack against US forces in Iraq

Iranian forces targeted U.S. bases in reaction to the death of Gen. Soleimani.

January 7, 2020, 9:40 PM

Top lawmakers called for unity and prayer on Tuesday as Iranian forces targeted U.S. military targets in Iraq with airstrikes in retaliation for the killing last week of Gen. Qassem Soleimani, the head of Iran's elite Quds Force.

"Closely monitoring the situation following bombings targeting U.S. troops in Iraq," House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., tweeted Tuesday. "We must ensure the safety of our servicemembers, including ending needless provocations from the Administration and demanding that Iran cease its violence. America & world cannot afford war."

Members of Congress, including 2020 presidential candidates Sen. Cory Booker and Rep. Tulsi Gabbard, signaled that they were praying for the U.S. troops in harms way as news broke that ballistic missiles had been fired from inside Iran.

"Praying for the safety of our troops and personnel in Iraq right now," Booker, D-N.J., said.

PHOTO: In this file photo taken on Dec. 18, 2019, Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi holds a press conference after the House passed articles of impeachment against President Donald Trump, at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, D.C.
In this file photo taken on Dec. 18, 2019, Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi holds a press conference after the House passed articles of impeachment against President Donald Trump, at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, D.C.
Saul Loeb/AFP via Getty Images, File

Gabbard, who was conducting a town hall at the time, urged her supporters to pause to acknowledge the "men and women from all across our country who made a choice to serve."

"My staff just sent me a note as I was walking in. The news is still developing, but there is a base in Iraq, Al Assad airbase," Gabbard, D-Hawaii, said. "[I'm] just asking everybody just to pause for a moment and send our good wishes and prayers to our men and women in uniform who are in harm's way today."

Sen. James Lankford, R-Okla., tweeted a similar statement, saying he was praying for American troops "who are defending our nation."

"Iran's aggression against the US clearly indicates that they continue to want to do harm to Americans & our nation," Lankford said. "I am monitoring the situation tonight & I pray for all the service women & men who are defending our nation."

Here's a look at how other lawmakers reacted:

Rep. Adam Schiff, D-Calif.

"With reports of missile strikes launched by Iran against U.S. bases in Iraq, my thoughts and prayers are with our service members, diplomats and other personnel at risk, and with their families."

Rep. Tim Ryan, D-Ohio

"We are holding the troops in our prayers tonight. We thank them for always putting their lives on the line to protect the United States. I pray cooler heads prevail before any of our soldiers or innocent civilians are killed."

Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla.

"#Iran is now openly calling for American’s to turn on each other. The time will come to debate U.S. policy. Tonight American & allied troops have come under direct attack by a nation-state & Americans must come together to support & protect them & respond appropriately."

Rep. Ted Lieu, D-Calif.

"As we pray for our troops & civilians, there is still no coherent strategy from @realDonaldTrump. The White House can't adequately answer simple questions like, what are our goals with Iran? Did a drone strike advance those goals? Does Iraq voting us out advance those goals?"

Rep. Warren Davidson, R-Ohio

"Iran is now attacking Americans with the same ballistic missile capabilities that demonstrate one of the glaring gaps in the JCPOA (Iran Deal). Please #pray for safety and success for our troops. Please #pray for a peaceful resolution to the decades of turmoil in the MidEast.

Rep. Kevin McCarthy R-Calif.

"Tonight we must be united in the fight against terrorism and those who would do our country harm. America’s full support is with our courageous service men and women standing the watch."

Sen. Tina Smith, D-Minn.

"Closely following what’s happening in Iraq. I’m thinking of our servicemembers, their families, and our allies, as I’m sure many Americans are doing right now."

Sen. Ed Markey, D-Mass.

"Trump’s disregard for the lives of our U.S. servicemembers, civilians, and allies with his dangerous escalation of conflict with Iran has put our people in the direct line of fire. I’m deeply concerned with reports of missile attacks in Iraq."

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