Meuser Statement on Elimination of Top Iranian General and Terrorist Qasem Soleimani

January 3, 2020
Press Release

WASHINGTON — Congressman Dan Meuser (PA-09) issued the statement below following the elimination of Qasem Soleimani, commander of the Iranian Quds Force:

“Last night, President Trump ordered and the United States military carried out an airstrike that killed Qasem Soleimani, the commander of the Iranian Quds Force, a U.S.-designated terrorist organization.

“Under Soleimani’s leadership over the past two decades, the Quds Force bolstered Hezbollah in Lebanon. Soleimani spearheaded attacks that resulted in the death of hundreds of U.S. soldiers and thousands of Syrian civilians, and the Quds Force trained militants to execute dangerous, destabilizing acts.

“Most recently, on December 27th, Soleimani orchestrated an attack that resulted in the death of a U.S. defense contractor and wounded four U.S. servicemembers. On December 29th, President Trump decisively responded, conducting U.S. airstrikes on five sites of Kataeb Hezbollah, an Iranian-backed Iraqi militia and a U.S.-designated terrorist organization, throughout Iraq and Syria.

“Instead of adhering to America’s warning, Soleimani instructed his proxy groups and militias to attack the U.S. embassy in Baghdad on December 31st, causing destruction, threatening harm, and shouting malicious threats against the United States, including: ‘Death to America.’

“Even more dangerous than these acts of aggression, U.S. Intelligence became aware of imminent attacks that Soleimani was actively developing, prompting the urgent need for a swift and strong response to protect American lives.

“On the night of January 2nd, President Trump ordered airstrikes on an Iraqi base near Baghdad’s airport. Soleimani was killed, as well as the founder of Kataeb Hezbollah, Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis.

“This mission was intelligence-based and aimed at deterring an imminent Iranian attack against American diplomats and service members, which Soleimani was actively developing. The United States will always defend its national interests, both at home and abroad, and we should all commend and thank our U.S. military for its efforts to protect American lives.”