US President Donald Trump used his public Twitter account to 'notify' Congress that Washington would strike Tehran, in what the president described as a potentially "disproportionate" manner, should Iran attack any US citizen or target any US assets, military or otherwise, as an act of revenge for killing Soleimani.
The House Foreign Affairs Committee lashed out at Trump, slamming his language and reminding the US president that only the US Congress has the authority to authorize acts of war.
This Media Post will serve as a reminder that war powers reside in the Congress under the United States Constitution. And that you should read the War Powers Act. And that you’re not a dictator. https://t.co/VTroMegWv0— House Foreign Affairs Committee (@HouseForeign) January 5, 2020
Trump authorized the airstrike - without alerting Congress - that killed top Iranian military figure Qasem Soleimani, justifying the action by alleging plots by the Iranian general to sabotage American assets abroad.
Trump's order was unexpected and has deeply stirred the American political establishment, sparking fears of full-scale war in the Middle East.
US Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi said that Trump's notice of the recent airstrike raised serious questions, primarily as it was classified. Pelosi slammed Trump and his administration for its "provocative, escalatory and disproportionate military engagement".
Pelosi warned that the assassination of Soleimani will lead to an outbreak of violence in the Middle East and elsewhere. The House Speaker urged the administration to explain to lawmakers why the US military presence in the region is being rapidly increased.