Lawmakers focused on military safety overseas following Iran’s missile attack

Washington-DC

WASHINGTON (NEXSTAR) — While President Donald Trump remains focused on preventing a war with Iran following the nation’s attack on two airbases housing U.S. troops in Iraq, lawmakers are turning their attention to the safety of the soldiers deployed overseas.

Trump addressed the nation Wednesday nearly a day after Iran fired missiles at the Al Asad and Erbil airbases, saying while his administration won’t retaliate with another airstrike, they will punish Iran with economic sanctions.

“These powerful sanctions will remain until Iran changes its behavior,” Trump said.

Trump said he wants peace in the region, but won’t allow Iran to continue down the path of violence.

“Your campaign of terror, murder, mayhem will not be tolerated any longer.  It will not be allowed to go forward,” Trump said.

Trump’s calls for peace did little to quell concerns on Capitol Hill, with some lawmakers wanting answers to military safety as the U.S. deploys thousands of additional troops to the region.

Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-New York, believes Trump is not sharing enough information with lawmakers.

“How many more is it going to be?” Schumer questioned. “How long will they remain abroad? What is their objective? How will we assure their safety?”

Congressman Brian Higgins, D-New York, said additional planning needs to be completed to ensure military safety.

“Before going after Qassem Soleimani, the 5,200 soldiers still stuck in Iraq should’ve been evacuated and out of harm’s way, but they weren’t,” Higgins said.

While no U.S. troops were injured in Tuesday’s attack, Higgins said history shows future casualties are likely while tensions remain high in the Middle East.

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