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Utah congressmen react to Iran’s retaliatory missile attack

SHARE Utah congressmen react to Iran’s retaliatory missile attack

In this Dec. 26, 2018, file photo, President Donald Trump speaks to members of the military at a hangar rally at Ain al-Asad air base, Iraq. Iran struck back at the United States for the killing of a top Iranian general early Wednesday, Jan. 8, 2020, firing a series of ballistic missiles at Iraqi bases housing U.S. troops in a major escalation of tensions that brought the two longtime foes closer to war.

Andrew Harnik, Associated Press

SALT LAKE CITY — It’s “possible to have peace with the people of Iran and still protect American lives and interests in the region,” Rep. Chris Stewart said in a tweet Tuesday night, following reports of Iranian missiles targeting Iraqi military bases housing U.S. troops.

Stewart and other members of Utah’s congressional delegation took to Twitter in the hours following the strikes to acknowledge the attack, which was first reported by Iranian state media and later confirmed by the U.S. Department of Defense.

The department said Tuesday evening that more than a dozen ballistic missiles were launched out of Iran at about 3:30 p.m. MST, targeting at least two Iraqi military bases hosting U.S. military and coalition personnel.

“We must learn more details before we can evaluate the seriousness of the attack and what the appropriate response should be,” Stewart said in his tweet, adding that having peace while protecting American lives and interests is “our goal.”

White House press secretary Stephanie Grisham said on Twitter that President Donald Trump had been briefed on the reports and was consulting with his national security team.

Journalists with The New York Times, CNN, and other news outlets reported that Trump would not be addressing the nation Tuesday night.

As lawmakers from around the country took to social media to comment on the missile strikes, Sen. Mitt Romney, Rep. John Curtis and Rep. Ben McAdams also posted acknowledgements.

“May God protect and watch over our troops stationed in Iraq,” Romney wrote, adding: “I condemn Iran’s attacks, which targeted US, coalition, and Iraqi military personnel, in the strongest terms.”

Curtis said in a tweet Tuesday night that he was aware of the reported attacks and would “continue to monitor the situation closely” until a classified briefing from the administration Wednesday.

“My prayers and immeasurable gratitude are with those protecting our Nation abroad and at home,” Curtis tweeted.

McAdams similarly tweeted that he was “monitoring the situation closely” and “praying for the brave American service members, personnel, and their families at home.”

Iran, which initially acknowledged targeting only one base, warned the United States not to retaliate for the attack, the Associated Press reported. Iranian state TV said the attack was revenge for the killing of Revolutionary Guard Gen. Qassem Soleimani in a U.S. airstrike on Friday.

“We are warning all American allies, who gave their bases to its terrorist army, that any territory that is the starting point of aggressive acts against Iran will be targeted,” the Revolutionary Guard said in a statement carried by Iran’s state-run IRNA news agency, as reported by the Associated Press.

Information about injuries was not immediately available.