A message from Truman President and CEO Jenna Ben-Yehuda on the killing of Gen. Suleimani

The Pentagon announced that it killed Maj. Gen. Qassem Suleimani, the head of Iran’s paramilitary forces, in an airstrike in Baghdad “at the direction” of President Trump. In response, Truman President and CEO Jenna Ben-Yehuda issued the following statement:

Qassem Suleimani was a ruthless killer responsible for the deaths of thousands, including hundreds of U.S. service members. But President Trump’s reckless and provocative decision will only serve the Iranian cause by destabilizing the Middle East even further.  His strike—unauthorized by Congress—was a major escalatory action against Iran that threatens U.S. military interests, personnel, frontline civilians, and Americans living throughout the region—all likely targets of an Iranian attack that is nearly certain to come.

If the strikes were ordered "in response to imminent threats to American lives" as President Trump and Secretary of State Pompeo allege, then the Administration must reveal that evidence to the American people, Congress, and U.S. allies. Secretary Pompeo has asserted that “de-escalation is the United States’ principal goal.” As such, he must demonstrate his commitment to that goal through immediate actions. Finally, the Administration should consult with Congress and allies immediately and Congress must take additional steps to authorize all necessary protections for American citizens in and out of uniform throughout the region.

The US can still take steps to de-escalate this situation. It is in the interest of both parties, and all Americans, to do so.