US President Donald Trump has said that he will be live tweeting updates on the war with Iran, and that these posts will “as notification to the United States Congress” should the US retaliate against any attack by Iran. This comes after House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said that the drone strikes that killed Iranian commander Qassem Soleimani in Baghdad, Iraq, were carried out without authorization from the US Congress. The strikes came after hundreds of what are believed to be pro-Iranian militiamen stormed the US Embassy in Baghdad in what turned out to be a two day siege.
“These Media Posts will serve as notification to the United States Congress that should Iran strike any U.S. person or target, the United States will quickly & fully strike back, & perhaps in a disproportionate manner. Such legal notice is not required, but is given nevertheless!,” says President Trump in a tweet from his account @realDonaldTrump. This tweet comes a day after a series of tweets by the President which made it clear that US would also target Iranian cultural sites if any Americans or American assets were targeted by Iran.
However, the House Foreign Affairs Committee, chaired by Eliot Engel (New York Democrat), has responded to President Trump, in a reply to his tweet. “This Media Post will serve as a reminder that war powers reside in the Congress under the United States Constitution. And that you should read the War Powers Act. And that you’re not a dictator,” says @HouseForeign.
This unexpected Twitter war-of-words comes after President Trump told reporters aboard Air Force One that he has the presidential authority to act against Iran, as he saw fit.
The US Embassy in Baghdad has ushered in the new year under siege, as hundreds of militia men stormed the compounds in the highly protected Green Zone, damaging property, breaching the main gate, breaking down doors and reportedly chanting “death to America.” The US administration believes Iranian commander Qassem Soleimani was the mastermind behind this attack.