The NYPD says they are closely monitoring "events in Iran & across the region for any further developments"—and deploying "additional resources to key locations"—in the wake of the American drone strike that killed Iranian commander Qasem Soleimani in Baghdad on Friday morning. [Scrolls down for updates from the joint mayoral-NYPD press conference.]
The Washington Post reports that Soleimani, head of the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps Quds Force, "was a towering figure in Iran's power projection across the region, with close links to a network of paramilitary groups that stretches from Syria to Yemen." President Donald Trump ordered the U.S. drone strike that killed Soleimani.
The Pentagon said the general was "responsible for the deaths of hundreds of American and coalition service members and the wounding of thousands more," and blamed him for a December 27th rocket attack that killed an American contractor and injured American soldiers and Iraqi personnel.
While there's bipartisan agreement that Soleimani was a violent figure, top Democratic leaders say they were not informed of the attack in advance and are worried about the repercussions. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said, "Tonight's airstrike risks provoking further dangerous escalation of violence. America—and the world—cannot afford to have tensions escalate to the point of no return."
Mayor Bill de Blasio tweeted his concerns as well:
The NYC Democratic Socialists of America is holding a "Rapid Action In Response To Iran Escalations" outside Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer's Brooklyn home tonight. They say they will "demand our representatives speak out against escalations with Iran and denounce the Trump administration’s recent assassinations of Iran military officials," saying that Schumer has "support[ed] war with Iran at every opportunity... voted against the JCPOA nuclear deal and for the NDAA" and "continually supported sanctions on Iran targeting the working class people."
UDPATE: At a press conference on Friday, Mayor Bill de Blasio stressed that, while authorities had not received any credible threats from Iran, the city is now facing a "very different environment this morning than anything we've experienced previously."
"I want New Yorkers to know that the idea of each and every person playing a role takes on added meaning right now," he said. "We're dealing with an adversary that we have never confronted previously on this scale. That fundamental notion, 'If you see something say something,' it takes on even greater meaning now."
The mayor also offered his own thoughts on the killing, explaining that he is "personally very happy that Soleimani is dead," but concerned about the lack Congressional involvement in the decision.
The mayor was joined at the briefing by NYPD Chief Dermot Shea and Deputy Commissioner of Intelligence & Counterterrorism John Miller. "I have absolute faith in the NYPD, which has built up its own extraordinary intelligence gathering capacity and its own ability to protect us from terror and has been watching the actions of Iran and its proxies for many years," de Blasio added.
"We have to assume this action puts us in a de facto state of war."