Ted Cruz: Soleimani assassination is justice for Israel, Trump tweets flag

US Senator for Texas Ted Cruz: Killing Soleimani was long-overdue justice for Israeli allies who have suffered from terrorism at the hands of Hezbollah terrorists commanded by IRGC Quds Force.

AN IMAGE of IRGC commander Qassem Soleimani. (photo credit: REUTERS)
AN IMAGE of IRGC commander Qassem Soleimani.
(photo credit: REUTERS)
Just as the Pentagon confirmed that the US had killed IRGC Quds Force commander Qasem Soleimani, US President Donald Trump tweeted what could only be seen as a reaction: a US flag without a caption.
The US struck down Soleimani, as well as Iraqi militia commander Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis, inside Baghdad International Airport to deter "future Iranian attack plans."
"The end of Qasem Soleimani is welcome and long-overdue justice for the thousands of Americans killed or wounded by his Iranian-controlled forces across the Middle East, and for the hundreds of thousands of Syrians and Iraqi Sunnis ethnically cleansed by his militias," US Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) wrote on Twitter.
"It is also long-overdue justice for our Israeli allies who have suffered decades of terrorism at the hands of Hezbollah terrorists commanded by his IRGC Quds Force," he added.
"Qassem Soleimani was an arch terrorist with American blood on his hands," former US ambassador to the UN Nikki Haley said in response to the attack. "His demise should be applauded by all who seek peace and justice.  Proud of President Trump for doing the strong and right thing."
Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Florida) claimed that people are delegitimizing the US attack in Baghdad because they are "blinded by hated for Trump," calling such a thing "total derangement."
Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-South Carolina) tweeted that the attack was a "major blow" to the "Iranian regime that has American blood on its hands."
"If Iran continues to attack America and our allies, they should pay the heaviest of prices, which includes the destruction of their oil refineries," he added.
Former New York mayor and current attorney for Trump, Rudy Giuliani, wrote that this "is not Benghazi."
"Obama did nothing about it. @realDonaldTrump acted immediately to protect Americans. Democrats are also Americans and should support our President," he concluded.
Some reactions were less welcoming, such as that of Democratic presidential candidate Elizabeth Warren, who wrote on Twitter that although Soleimani "was a murderer," "this reckless move escalates the situation with Iran and increases the likelihood of more deaths and new Middle East conflict."
"Our priority must be to avoid another costly war," she concluded.
Sen. Jim Risch (R-Idaho), chairman of US Senate Foreign Relations Committee, said in a statement that Soleimani was responsible for the deaths of hundreds of Americans. "As I have previously warned the Iranian government, they should not mistake our reasonable restraint in response to their previous attacks as weakness."
Rep. Liz Cheney (R-Wyoming) tweeted that Soleimani was "an evil and deadly terrorist with the blood of thousands, including hundreds of Americans, on his hands.
"President Trump was right to order decisive action to kill Soleimani to prevent further attacks and defend American lives and interests," she added.
Former vice president and presidential hopeful Joe Biden criticized the operation and said in a statement: “President Trump just tossed a stick of dynamite into a tinderbox, and he owes the American people an explanation of the strategy and plan to keep safe our troops and embassy personnel, our people and our interests.
“Much remains unknown, but Iran will surely respond," Biden continued. "We could be on the brink of a major conflict across the Middle East. I hope the Administration has thought through the second- and third-order consequences of the path they have chosen.”
“But I fear this administration has not demonstrated at any turn the discipline or long-term vision necessary – and the stakes could not be higher,” he said.
Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-Minnesota 5th District) conjectured that the strike was designed by Trump to provoke a war, vowing to put a stop to it if so.
She later tweeted, "They're going to accuse anyone who cautions against war of 'siding with our enemies' or 'supporting terrorists.'"
"This is the exact rhetoric that got us into the War in Iraq," she concluded. "Don't fall for it."
Eliot L. Engel, Chairman of the House Committee on Foreign Affairs, issued a statement with a similar message. "I’m deeply concerned about the repercussions of tonight’s strike," he wrote.
“Iran is the world’s most prolific state sponsor of terrorism. The regime in Tehran and its proxies have global reach that they may use to seek retribution for this strike, endangering the lives of Americans around the world," Engel's statement reads. "And we are now again on the brink of direct confrontation in the Middle East. Tonight’s action represents a massive escalation in our conflict with Iran with unpredictable consequences," he added.
"Last night the President engaged in what is widely being recognized as an act of war against Iran, one that now risks the lives of millions of innocent people," said Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (AOC). "The cheerleaders of war, removed from its true cost, will gladly convince you that up is down - just as they did in Iraq in ‘03."
She concluded, "
Congress now has a moral and legal obligation to reassert its power to stop this war and protect innocent people from horrific consequences."
 Rep. Ted Deutch (D-Florida 22nd District) tweeted: "We should prepare for potential retaliatory attacks by Iran & its proxies. We must ensure the security of US personnel in the region. The Admin must inform Congress of next steps and clarify legal basis for military action. Reminder that Congress has not authorized war with Iran."
New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio tweeted that he spoke with the New York Police Department about taking immediate steps to "protect key NYC locations from any attempt by Iran or its terrorist allies to retaliate against America."
"We will have to be vigilant against this threat for a long time to come," he concluded.
The Republican Jewish Coalition (RJC) applauded Trump, saying in a statement that Soleimani's death "makes the world a safer place."
"President Trump is fulfilling his promise to hold Iran accountable for the regime’s support of international terrorism, its brutal treatment of the people of Iran, and its violent aggression against other states in the region," RJC national chairman former senator Norm Coleman said.
Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif tweeted on Friday that the attack was "an extremely dangerous and foolish escalation," calling it "rogue adventurism" by the US.
"Soleimani's martyrdom will make Iran more decisive to resist America's expansionism and to defend our Islamic values. With no doubt, Iran and other freedom-seeking countries in the region will take his revenge," said Iranian President Hassan Rouhani in a statement.
Hamas official Basem Naim warned that the attack "opens the door to all possibilities except stability in the region. The US bears responsibility for this," according to Maariv. Hamas warned that the US will bear responsibility for the "blood spilled in the Arab region," according to Channel 13.
Hezbollah leader Sayyed Nasrallah called for revenge for the attack, saying that it is a "responsibility and an act of resistance," according to the Hezbollah affiliated Al Manar news. Nasrallah added that the terrorist group will continue Soleimani's path to achieve his goals.
"The Revolutionary Guards, the wise Iranian nation and the resistance front across the geographical expanse of the Muslim nation will avenge the blood of this martyr (Soleimani)," warned IRGC spokesman Ramezan Sharif. "The joy of the Zionists and Americans will in no time turn into mourning."
Populist Iraqi Shi'ite cleric Moqtada al-Sadr mourned Soleimani's death and said that his militias were ready to defend Iraq.
Qais al-Khazali, head of the Asa'ib Ahl al-Haq militia, stated on Friday that the "end result for the US and Israel is defeat," according to Maariv.
"All resistance fighters must be ready, as an upcoming conquest and a great victory await us," said Khazali as he called on PMF fighters to be on alert, according to AFP.
China urged the relevant sides, especially the United States, to remain calm and exercise restraint to avoid further escalating tensions, said Geng Shuang, a ministry spokesman, at a regular press briefing in Beijing, adding that peace and stability in the Middle East must be upheld.
Syria's Foreign Ministry condemned the US "criminal aggression" in the attack in which Soleimani was killed. The ministry called it "a dangerous escalation of the situation in the region," according to Syrian news agency SANA.
Reuters contributed to this report.