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The top US military leaders said the attack on the Capitol was a "violent riot" and it was a "direct assault on the US Congress, the Capitol Building and our Constitutional process".


Top leaders of the US military have issued a rare joint statement saying the armed forces will defence the Constitution of the United States of America "against all enemies, foreign and domestic", and reminded service members of their duty to safeguard the Constitution.

The top military commanders said the right to free speech does not give anyone the right to resort to violence.

The statement was issued on Tuesday and was signed by America's most senior general, Mark Milley, and the entire Joint Chiefs of Staff.

Denouncing the attack by Trump supporters on the Capitol on January 6, during which violent Trump supporters stormed the building that resulted in the deaths of five people, the military leaders said the attack was "inconsistent with the rule of law".

"We witnessed actions inside the Capitol building that were inconsistent with the rule of law. The rights of freedom of speech and assembly do not give anyone the right to resort to violence, sedition and insurrection," the statement said.

Terming the attack on the Capitol as a "violent riot", the statement said it was a "direct assault on the US Congress, the Capitol Building and our Constitutional process".

"We mourn the deaths of the two Capitol policemen and others connected to these unprecedented events," it said.

The statement comes at a time when there are fears that extremists supporting outgoing US President Donald Trump may resort to more severe violence in the coming days.

On Monday, the FBI had warned of "armed protests" being planned at all 50 US state capitals and in Washington DC in the run-up to President-elect Joe Biden's inauguration on January 20.

"As we have done throughout our history, the US military will obey lawful orders from civilian leadership, support civil authorities to protect lives and property, ensure public safety in accordance with the law, and remain fully committed to protecting and defending the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic," the eight senior leaders of the US Joint Chiefs of Staff reportedly said in their one-page statement.

According to PTI, the statement added, "As service members, we must embody the values and ideals of the nation."

The top military leaders said they "support and defend the Constitution", and any act to disrupt the constitutional process is "not only against our traditions, values and oath; it is against the law".


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