According to US Senator Steve Daines, Qasem Suleimani posed an “imminent threat” to American lives. In an interview with KGVO News, Daines spoke about the US Military’s decision to strike down the prominent Iranian general, and the chain of events that followed.

At around 3:30 PM MST on January 7, Iran launched over a dozen ballistic missiles at US bases housing American troops in Iraq. The missiles came in response to the killing of Suleimani on January 3. Missiles originating from Iranian forces struck the Ain al-Asad air base, a major American base located North and West of Baghdad, and the Erbil facility located in Northern Iraq. Though damage assessment is ongoing, there have been no reported casualties.

Daines began in the interview by applauding the initial decision to launch an airstrike on Suleimani almost a week ago.

“Why did the Iranians launch these missiles at us? It was in response to what we did, exactly the right thing: President Trump and the US military taking out Suleimani in Baghdad," Daine stated. "We should think of that as the equivalent of taking out the Osama bin-Laden of Iran. This is a terrorist...he's a war criminal. This is someone who [had] the blood of American soldiers on his hands.”

Daines praised President Trump and the US Military for their fast action in Iran. He commends President Trump for using full authority in his decision to launch the strike, and further lauds domestic and foreign intelligence agencies for their work prior to the strike.

“This fight with Iran goes back to 1979. Let’s not forget the hostages they took in our US Embassy in Tehran. Let’s not forget that just at the end of last year, they stormed the US Embassy in Baghdad. There was a reason why Suleimani flew from Syria back to Baghdad that night, and we got the intelligence on him. We took him out right by the Baghdad airport because he was on his way, planning additional attacks on Americans.”

According to Daines, the airstrike on Suleimani demanded “excellence and precision.” There were no civilian casualties as a result of the strike.

“We go out of our way to ensure that we think about possible military strikes and that we place it as our highest priority to protect civilian lives. That is a very different philosophy and set of values versus the terrorists who do what they can to kill innocent civilians, as well as men and women who wear the uniform.”

Daines extends his thanks to the men and women in uniform and acknowledges the risks they assume while serving the country.