Maloney calls U.S. killing of Iranian general a “dangerous gamble” (updated)

Rep. Sean Patrick Maloney offered a tempered statement on the U.S. drone strike in Iraq on Thursday that killed an Iranian military commander, saying Qassim Soleimani had caused countless deaths through terrorism but warning that his assassination was a dangerous escalation of the conflict with Iran.

Here’s the full statement by the Cold Spring Democrat:

“General Soleimani has been responsible for the deaths of countless American service members and other innocent victims during his years of leading Iran’s terrorist actions. No one who loves freedom and justice should mourn his death. 

“But to order his killing in Iraq represents a dangerous gamble in the escalatory cycle the President has undertaken with Iran. 

“As a member of the Intelligence Committee, I will be seeking a classified briefing at the soonest opportunity to better understand the President’s rationale for ordering this killing as well as the Administration’s planning for the inevitable repercussions, the potential for a major conflict, and the immediate threats to our personnel and partners in the region.”

Update:

Rep. Antonio Delgado, a Rhinebeck Democrat who represents the neighboring 19th Congressional District, took a similar stance. He said in a statement: “Qassem Soleimani was responsible for the deaths of American service members and innocent civilians throughout the Middle East—he met the fate he deserved. That said, last night the Administration took an enormous and escalatory step in a volatile area of the world without clear coordination with our allies, Congress, or stakeholders in the region, and with no explanation for how it will manage the inevitable repercussions.”

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