MONTGOMERY, Ala. (WSFA) - Alabama leaders are responding to Iranian ballistic missile strikes targeting bases housing U.S. troops in Iraq. The strikes come in response to President Donald Trump’s decision to have Iranian Maj. Gen. Qassem Soleimani killed.
The president said Wednesday no troops were killed or injured. He continued to say Iran “appears to be standing down” but said more U.S.-imposed sanctions would target the country.
Many Alabama Republicans stood firmly in support of the president. Congressman Bradley Byrne believed the decision to “take out” Soleimani was correct.
“He has been responsible for the deaths of thousands of people, hundreds of American servicemen and women," said Byrne. "At some point, you have to say no, he’s crossed the line and we are not going to continue to do this anymore. He crossed that line and now people across the Middle East, not just Iran, know there is a new sheriff in town.”
Republican Sen. Richard Shelby tweeted after the speech that he supports the president’s efforts to negotiate with Iran.
“We must be vigilant following Iran’s attack on U.S. troops in Iraq,” said Shelby. “I remain confident that the President will do what it takes to protect and defend our nation.”
Democratic Congresswoman Terri Sewell tweeted the night of the strikes that she was praying for “cooler heads to prevail and that our leaders choose to deescalate this situation with Iran.”
Congressman Mike Rogers said Wednesday he was relieved Iran sent missiles into fields and did not hit U.S. troops.
“They made it clear right afterwards that they wanted this to be the end of it,” said Rogers. “It showed a de-escalation in the tensions and I think that’s what the president is showing in response today.”
Rogers said he was not concerned about the strike.
“If the missiles had been headed toward our troops, we would have taken them out. We know within seconds when those things are launched. Where they are going to land," he said.
Democratic Senator Doug Jones responded to the strike Tuesday night saying the killing of the Iranian general put American lives at risk.
“We need to have a full complete briefing on what’s going on and what they expect in the near future," Jones expressed Tuesday night.
Jones released a full statement Wednesday, saying the safety of American service members and citizens should be the “top priority.”
“As the situation continues to unfold, the safety of American service members and all of our citizens needs to be our top priority. I’m encouraged that during his speech today, President Trump was restrained in his remarks and did not seek to escalate tensions with Iran," said Jones. "I hope that going forward we will hear more about the Administration’s long term goals in the Middle East and I urge the president to consult Congress before initiating further military action.”
Gov. Kay Ivey answered questions from the press before President Trump’s speech Wednesday morning.
“We are all concerned for military men and women who are serving over there from Alabama. And we certainly want to keep them and their families in our prayers," Ivey continued. “And we are hopeful. We will also pray for the president and the national leaders who are dealing with this very difficult issue. But prayers will help at this point in time from all of us."
At that point in time, the governor had not heard whether any guard units would be called to action.
“I have not heard anything about that yet. So hopefully not, but we’ll have to wait and see. The Alabama National Guard is always ready," she said.