President Donald Trump boasted on social media Tuesday night that an Iranian attack on U.S. forces in Iraq resulted in little damage, and that he will address the nation on the issue Wednesday morning.
Earlier in the evening, Iran launched more than a dozen ballistic missiles at American troop housing facilities at al-Asad and Irbil, in response to last week’s U.S. airstrike which killed Iranian Gen. Qassem Soleimani, the head of an elite arm of Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps.
Iranian officials called it “fierce revenge by the Revolutionary Guards.” But in a tweet a few hours after the attack, Trump announced that “all is well” with U.S. troops stationed in the region.
“Assessment of casualties & damages taking place now. So far, so good!” he wrote. “We have the most powerful and well equipped military anywhere in the world, by far!”
He added that he will make a statement on the attacks on Wednesday morning.
White House officials reportedly had considered having the president make a statement to the country shortly after the attacks, but opted to wait for Defense Department assessments of the veracity of the attack.
Members of Congress took to social media to express their support for U.S. troops overseas, and to condemn or attack the president, largely based on party lines.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., said her office is “closely monitoring the situation” in Iraq.
“We must ensure the safety of our servicemembers, including ending needless provocations from the administration and demanding that Iran cease its violence,” she wrote. “America and (the) world cannot afford war.”
Republican Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul said there is “no excuse for this action by Iran” but also added “we need to stop the escalation before it leads to another endless war in the Middle East.”
House lawmakers were scheduled to take up new war powers legislation this week designed to curb Trump’s ability to engage in military action against Iran, but it was unclear if that plan would be affected by Tuesday’s attack.
Leo covers Congress, Veterans Affairs and the White House for Military Times. He has covered Washington, D.C. since 2004, focusing on military personnel and veterans policies. His work has earned numerous honors, including a 2009 Polk award, a 2010 National Headliner Award, the IAVA Leadership in Journalism award and the VFW News Media award.