HARRISBURG (KDKA/AP) – The U.S. says it is sending sending more troops to the Middle East and Iran has vowed “harsh retaliation” for a U.S. airstrike near Baghdad’s airport that killed its top general.

Gen. Qassem Soleimani was the architect of Iran’s interventions across the Middle East and the head of Iran’s elite Quds Force.

Both U.S. senators for Pennsylvania agreed that the world is safer without Soleimani and that he was responsible for the deaths of hundreds of Americans.

His killing marks a major escalation in the standoff between Washington and Iran. Iran’s supreme leader warned that a “harsh retaliation is waiting” for the U.S. The killing and Iran’s response could ignite a region-wide conflict.

Sen. Pat Toomey issued a statement, saying:

“Qasem Soleimani was responsible for the murder of hundreds of Americans. The world is a better place now that he is dead. Every American should be grateful to our armed forces who carried out this strike with incredible skill and precision. The Trump administration was right to restore deterrence against Iran.”

Sen. Bob Casey also issued a statement, saying in part:

“Qassim Suleimani was a military figure who inflicted terror and killed thousands in Israel, Iraq, Syria and other places. He was directly responsible for the killing of hundreds of American soldiers and civilians. The world is safer with him gone.”

He went on to say that he also wants the Trump Administration to provide a full briefing in the coming month regarding several things, including the intelligence used to authorize the strike, the legal basis for the strike and any preparation the administration has taken against potential retaliation from the Iranian regime.

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