Listen: U.S. Strike That Killed Soleimani Leaves Questions About Fallout
"Trump ordered an air strike in Iraq overnight that killed a powerful Iranian military leader Kacem Sulejmani. President trump spoke about the strike and remarks from his mar-a-lago resort. This afternoon. We took action last night to stop a war. We did not take action to start a war. I have deep respect for the Iranian people. They are a remarkable people with an incredible heritage Gen unlimited potential. We do not seek regime change. However the Iranian regime's aggression in the region including the use of proxy fighters riders to stabilize? Its neighbors must end in a must end now. But Iran has vowed revenge for the airstrike the. US Embassy in Iraq has urged all all American citizens to leave the country immediately and the US is planning to send an additional thirty five hundred troops to the region. Joining me now from Washington is National Security reporter Warren Strobel Warren. What can you tell us about what you've learned about? The factors that led to president trump's decision to launch this strike. I think in the first instance it was the death of a US contractor A week ago today and a military base in Iraq trump sort of drawn a red line regarding Ron's actions and that red line being deaths of Americans and so that happened that led to retaliatory strikes Last weekend a Sunday by the United States and then the siege of embassy in Baghdad over this past week and from there the US they had good intelligence on pseudomonas movements and they are saying without providing a lot of detail all that he was planning to oversee massive series of operations against US interests. That would have Killed Lots of Americans and that's why they acted now the. US had declared declared the group that Sulejmani commended the cubs forces a terrorist group. Did that designation play any role here in authorizing the president to carry out this strike. There has been some conversation about whether whether or not it was legal to proceed without congressional approval. Yeah there's the administration has not sort of laid out yet What it's legal reasoning is or the legal legal rationale for doing this? One could argue that it was self defense which is allowed by the UN Charter and U. N. Resolutions Sion's and I think generally by international law. But they haven't sort of gone into detail beyond saying this was legal. This was legal. I think you know the fact that the cuts force was named a terrorist organization Organization of designated terrorist organization could be part of that but I think the primary rationale here is if they acted to prevent the deaths of more Americans and others in preventing terrorist attack. What can you tell us about the reaction in Washington today? The strike took place overnight. You know the reaction has been very mixed I don't think you have anybody not either on the Republican or Democratic side whose morning Qassem so the money and he's been a factor in the region for years and has killed a lot of Americans and advanced. Iran's is interest in Iraq Syria Lebanon Yemen and beyond but there does seem to be a partisan split with the Republicans very much supporting this. The Democrats grads supporting the action but asking questions like what's the legal rationale. Why wasn't Congress briefed beforehand? What's our strategy for dealing with our allies and most importantly perhaps was their strategy for dealing with any Iranian response and retaliation which is almost certain to come at some stage keeping in mind? We're less than twenty four hours from. I'm this as we're speaking. How does this change you as policy regarding Iran and Iraq where this strike took place? I think there's three possible places where this will impact the first. I is the fight against Isis where there had been some tacit cooperation between running back forces in Iraq and the US led coalition because the Iranians also very much oppose isis. And you could see a situation where that task cooperation goes away and Islamic state is. It's not the way it was with with the Caliphate but it is starting to slowly regenerate and parts of Iraq. So that's worrisome. The second impact is the US relationship with Iraq which I think officials shows have told us and analysts is very worse. Because there's talk now of moves within the parliament or the Iraqi government to Force US troops out the argument being that the the US action against the demonic violated the terms of the US presence there so you could see a situation where the US presence in Iraq is reduced or eliminated entirely in who benefits benefits from that while Iran does then Iran question the third place where impacts on us around relations. It's really hard to tell at. This point spoke with a few analysts who believe that Iran will take its time retaliating. They don't rush to retaliate. The calibrate their responses. And so you could see just as the months go by weeks and months go by ahead of us. More of the sort of shadow war tit for tat without blowing up into a full-scale armed conflict which I don't think either side wants and Iran has said it will retaliate. Anything anything else you can tell us about what we can expect in the next few days and weeks. Well I mean Iran has so many options to retaliate The retaliate talk with the cyber attack. They could retaliate by getting the groups. The militia groups that they back in Iraq to attack US troops in US bases. They could do things in the Persian Gulf. That would you know tax shipping that would interrupt the flow of oil raise the cost of shipping or they could They have done operations ends in Bulgaria and Argentina and South East Asia so they could buy their time and reach out at some point in the unspecified future to attack. US Embassy or diplomats in far our phone corners of the world. So I wouldn't necessarily say we're going to see in Iranian response in the next day or two if we could. But I don't think that's a foregone conclusion and the next the other thing I think we'll see a lot of debate in Congress about authorizations of the use of force in whether there needs to be changes in the what's called the authorization for use of military force that covers us US operations Nine eleven that's Wall Street Journal National Security Reporter Warren Strobel joining me from Washington. Thank you so much Warren. Thanks pleasure"