Chaldean community leader in wait and see mode after US airstrike

Many Michigan lawmakers are criticizing President Donald Trump for assassinating Iranian Gen. Qassem Soleimani without Congressional approval.

Metro Detroit is home to the largest Chaldean community outside of Iraq and hours after President Trump authorized an airstrike on the county's capital city of Baghdad, it is reacting to the news.

"Many Iraqi people are concerned about what's coming next," said Martin Manna, president of the Chaldean American Chamber of Commerce.

That includes concerns over possible retaliation after the US drone airstrike on an airport in Baghdad that killed Soleimani.
"I would assume there's going to retaliation, what type no one knows but everyone is on high alert," said Manna.

The US government says Trump authorized the air strike to protect US personnel and service members in Iraq. Now the US State Department has told Americans in Iraq to leave the country immediately.

Iraninan Gen. Qassem Soleimani

"Most people in Iraq will quietly tell you - not publicly - that they want to remove the Iranian influence from there and they would support an action like this," said Manna. "But what comes from this? Is there going to be uncertainty, more instability, more challenges for people who want to live in peace?"
FOX 2: "If you had a meeting with President Trump what would you say?"

"I would be carrying a message of many people from Iraq that they want a free and sovereign nation that doesn't have influence from America or Iran," said Manna, "They just want to live in peace."

Manna says as his organization continues to advocate on behalf of the Chaldean-American community, members will continue keeping a watchful eye on what will take place next in Iraq.

"We've been meeting with the Iraqi government and our country's leaders for long time about many issues in Iraq," Manna said. "And (we) have had some discussions today with congressional members about what's next.

"We don't know what will come out of this - we're waiting to see what's coming out of this. Just like everyone we are waiting to see what the outcome is going to be."

Martin Manna, president of the Chaldean American Chamber of Commerce.