PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — Oregon and Washington lawmakers are calling for a de-escalation of tensions between the U.S. and Iran following two Iranian missile strikes on bases housing U.S. troops in Iraq.
A U.S. official said there were very few, if any, casualties from Tuesday night’s attack in which 15 missiles were fired: 10 hit the Ain al-Asad airbase in Iraq’s western Anbar province, one hit a base in Irbil and four missed their marks.
Iranian state TV says the missile strikes were retaliation for the killing of Revolutionary Guard Gen. Qassem Soleimani, whose death last week in an American drone strike near Baghdad prompted angry calls to avenge his slaying.
KOIN 6 News obtained statements from various lawmakers in Oregon and Washington following news of the attacks.
Sen. Jeff Merkley via Twitter:
“Closely monitoring reports of Iranian missile attacks on military bases housing U.S. military personnel in Iraq. Praying for the safety of our men and women in harm’s way. All of us need to work to break an escalatory cycle to all-out war.“
“I am closely monitoring the reports of attacks by Iran targeting our soldiers in Iraq. My thoughts are with those in the area and their families. For the safety of our troops and the security of our country, I strongly support efforts to deescalate this situation before it spirals further out of control. Tomorrow I will attend a classified briefing about the situation, where I hope to get answers to the many valid questions and concerns about the President’s increasingly confrontational approach with Iran.”
Congressman Earl Blumenauer:
“This is a predictable reaction to Trump’s reckless decision to assassinate Soleimani, which is pushing us to the brink of war. There is a reason why past presidents did not make such a careless move. Congress must be resolute in retaining its authority to intervene and keep us from yet another endless, pointless war.”
Sen. Ron Wyden:
“Iran’s attack on U.S. soldiers and our allies was contemptible, but Donald Trump must not further escalate this volatile situation, or use military force against Iran without approval from Congress. His reckless actions and rhetoric have already increased threats to American troops. I opposed a disastrous war in the Middle East in 2003, and I sure as hell won’t stand by while Trump drags us into another war that weakens our country.”
Sen. Patty Murray via Twitter:
“Tonight I’m praying for the servicemembers in harm’s way, for their families, and for steps that lead us toward safety and security rather than war.”
Sen. Maria Cantwell:
“My thoughts are with our troops and their families.”
Rep. Peter Defazio via Twitter:
“Trump put our troops in harm’s way with his reckless assassination of Suleimani. Instead of violent attacks that may potentially to lead to all-out war, Congress must stop this march towards war. We cannot afford to become mired in another endless conflict in the Middle East.”
Congressman Kurt Schrader:
“Since I came to Congress in 2009, I have adamantly opposed military intervention in the Middle East except when absolutely necessary to protect American troops stationed there and to keep terrorists from reaching American shores. I remain staunchly opposed to U.S. involvement in another costly conflict in the Middle East.”
Anti-war rallies are scheduled to take place Wednesday in Beaverton and Thursday at the Hawthorne Bridge.
KOIN 6 News has also reached out Rep. Greg Walden and Congresswoman Jaime Herrera Beutler for statements.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.