Iran Attacks U.S. Facilities In Iraq

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The strike on the al-Asad base Wednesday morning local time is the first known retaliation to Trump’s killing of Iranian commander Qassem Soleimani.

ran attacked a major base in Iraq that houses American military forces on Wednesday morning local time, Iranian and U.S. officials said.

It launched ballistic missiles at al-Asad airbase in its first move against the U.S. since President Donald Trump ordered an American drone strike to kill Iranian Gen. Qassem Soleimani, dramatically escalating tensions between the two countries. 

Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) — the branch of the country’s military in which Soleimani served — directed the assault, it told Iranian and American media. 

“The brave soldiers of IRGC’s aerospace unit have launched a successful attack with tens of ballistic missiles on Al Assad military base in the name of martyr Gen. [Qassem] Soleimani,” read an IRGC statement sent to New York Times reporter Farnaz Fassihi.

Trump was monitoring the situation, White House press secretary Stephanie Grisham said.

More than 5,000 American troops are in Iraq as part of the effort to fight the self-described Islamic State. The country shares a long border with Iran, and Tehran has broad influence there through a network of allied militias and politicians. Soleimani’s killing made an Iranian response inevitable and put U.S. citizens and interests at risk, the Trump administration and analysts said. U.S. and Iraqi officials said this week that they were preparing for the movement of American forces out of Iraq ― a prospect that achieves one of Iran’s top goals and is a boon for ISIS as it attempts to regroup.

How the Wednesday attack affects the chances of further U.S.-Iran confrontation isn’t immediately clear.

“This may be a big deal or it may be a symbolic way to launch some [initial] retaliatory strikes that are easy to execute without that much damage,” Ilan Goldenberg, a former State and Defense Department official now with the Center for a New American Security, wrote on Twitter. “We need to wait and see.”

The IRGC said it intends to retaliate against U.S. allies if they allow further American attacks on Iran to be launched from their countries, Fassihi reported. That’s a worrying prospect for a range of nations, including Qatar, Bahrain, the United Arab Emirates and even Turkey. Regional officials, including from Iran’s chief rival Saudi Arabia, have loudly been saying they want to see tensions reduced and are not eager for an outright and broad conflict.

Lawmakers have also urged restraint and plan to soon consider legislation they hope will limit Trump’s ability to strike Iran.

The U.S. military did not immediately respond to a HuffPost request for comment.|

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Mark Hamill has the question people should ask about Donald Trump's impeachment

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Star Wars” actor Mark Hamill used his first tweets of 2020 to reveal the “common sense question” that every American must currently consider about the impeachment of President Donald Trump over the Ukraine scandal.

Namely, “why would an innocent man bar witnesses who could exonerate him” from testifying in the Senate’s impeachment trial, asked Hamill.

″#Duh,” he captioned the post.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) is refusing to allow key witnesses, including former national security adviser John Bolton, to testify in Trump’s trial because he sees it “as an opening for uncertainty,” reported The New York Times.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.), meanwhile, is presently holding back from transmitting the articles of impeachment to the Senate amid fears of Republican bias in the proceedings. McConnell has previously vowed to work with the White House on Trump’s defense.

Hamill, a frequent critic of the president, earlier advised his 3.5 million followers on Twitter to “buckle-up for 2020: the make-or-break year in which our country either reclaims normalcy or doubles down on the crazy.”

Christian Post Journalist Resigns Over Planned Editorial Praising Trump

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The editorial is in response to a Christianity Today editorial published last week that condemns President Donald Trump.

A longtime editor of the Christian Post resigned after learning the publication plans to write an editorial praising President Donald Trump and blasting another Christian publication for condemning him.

Napp Nazworth had worked for the Christian Post since 2011 and sat on the editorial board as politics editor when he quit Monday. He departed over a planned editorial expressing a firm pro-Trump stance.

“I never got the gist they were gung-ho Trumpian types,” Nazworth told The Washington Post of his former colleagues. “Everything has escalated with the Christianity Today editorial.”

Mark Galli, editor-in-chief of Christianity Today, published an editorial last Thursday telling his readers that the impeachment hearings “illuminated the president’s moral deficiencies for all to see.” 

“The facts in this instance are unambiguous: The president of the United States attempted to use his political power to coerce a foreign leader to harass and discredit one of the president’s political opponents,” Galli wrote. “That is not only a violation of the Constitution; more importantly, it is profoundly immoral.”

Galli defended his editorial on Sunday following a wave of backlash and praise for the piece. The publication also gained thousands of new subscribers following the editorial.

“My argument is not to judge him as a person in the eyes of God — that’s not my job — but to judge his public moral character and to ask, has he gone so far that the evangelical constituency that we represent, can we in good conscience do the trade-off anymore?” he told CBS host Margaret Brennan.

Nazworth said the Christian Post editorial, which hasn’t been published yet, will praise the president while bashing Christianity Today.

“I said, if you post this, you’re saying, you’re now on team Trump,” he told The Washington Post.  

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