After Iran bombs 2 air bases, U.S. politicians stress troop safety, end to escalation

Mike Dougherty
January 08, 2020 - 7:26 am
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PHILADELPHIA (KYW Newsradio) — Politicians are reacting to Iran's bombing of two air bases in Iraq housing U.S. military personnel.

Iran launched at least a dozen missiles at Al Asad Air Base and a smaller air base in Erbil in retaliation for the killing of Iran's top military commander. Officials are assessing the damage now. There were no casualties, according to preliminary reports.

U.S. Sen. Chris Coons, D-Delaware, says he wants to hear what President Donald Trump's long-term strategy is. Coons says he hopes the president takes a collaborative approach.

"I think it's important that we consult with our allies in the region, that the president consult with Congress, and that he put forward a clear strategy for how to de-escalate this particular situation so we do not end up stumbling into another large-scale war in the Middle East," Coons said.

U.S. Sen. Corey Booker, D-N.J., and Democratic former vice president Joe Biden both tweeted that they are praying for the American troops and personnel in Iraq.

Sen. Rand Paul, R-Kentucky, stressed that Trump must go though Congress before entering a war with Iran, and he says the escalation needs to stop.

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Al Asad translates to "the Lion," and it's been in and out of service for the last couple of decades. The U.S. Marines took it over in 2004. It closed in 2011 then opened again in 2014 to battle ISIS.

There are two large runways and the base has its own power plant as well as a water purification and bottling facility.

The desert base has a 15-mile perimiter and is located about 100 miles west of Baghdad.

There's an indoor swimming pool, movie theater, a post office, and even a Burger King, Cinnabon and Kentucky Fried Chicken.

The president and first lady visited the base on Dec. 26, 2018. Vice President Mike Pence and his wife visited the base just before Thanksgiving last year. Many celebrities have been there while visiting the troops.

Currently, the base houses Iraqi forces as well as coalition forces from the U.S. and Great Britian.