US President Donald Trump has doubled down on the insanity of the assassination of the commander of the Quds Force of Iran’s Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC), saying Lieutenant General Qassem Soleimani should have been killed “many years ago.”
Trump, in a series of tweets on Friday, accused the top Iranian military commander of killing and wounding thousands of Americans over an extended period of time and “plotting to kill many more.”
The US president also claimed that Major General Soleimani was “directly and indirectly” responsible for the death of millions of people in Iran and “should have been taken out many years ago.”
“General Qassem Soleimani has killed or badly wounded thousands of Americans over an extended period of time, and was plotting to kill many more...but got caught! He was directly and indirectly responsible for the death of millions of people, including the recent large number of PROTESTERS killed in Iran itself,” Trump claimed in a tweet.
“While Iran will never be able to properly admit it, Soleimani was both hated and feared within the country. They are not nearly as saddened as the leaders will let the outside world believe. He should have been taken out many years ago!”
....of PROTESTERS killed in Iran itself. While Iran will never be able to properly admit it, Soleimani was both hated and feared within the country. They are not nearly as saddened as the leaders will let the outside world believe. He should have been taken out many years ago!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) January 3, 2020
The United States confirmed early on Friday that its forces had assassinated General Soleimani and Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis, the second-in-command of Iraq’s pro-government Popular Mobilization Units (PMU) — better known as Hashd al-Sha’abi — in an attack at Baghdad’s international airport.
The Pentagon said in a statement that Trump had ordered the US military to assassinate the top Iranian commander.
“At the direction of the President, the US military has taken decisive defensive action to protect US personnel abroad by killing Qasem Soleimani, the head of the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps-Quds Force,” the statement said. “This strike was aimed at deterring future Iranian attack plans. The United States will continue to take all necessary action to protect our people and our interests wherever they are around the world."
The US assassination of Major General Soleimani has drawn a wave of condemnation from officials and movements across the world, and triggered furious public protests in denunciation of the heinous act.
Iran has warned that “harsh revenge" is waiting for the US following the strike that killed the leader of the Quds Force.
General Soleimani killed due to 'imminent threats to American lives'
US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo also confirmed on Friday that Trump had directed the assassination airstrike due to "imminent threats to American lives."
Asked about the "threats" in a CNN interview on Friday morning, Pompeo declined to provide further details on the issue but claimed the strike had saved American lives, saying, "[General Soleimani] was actively plotting in the region to take actions ... that would have put dozens if not hundreds of American lives at risk."
Pompeo said the move followed an "intelligence-based assessment," and that the threats to the US were located in the Middle East region rather than the US homeland.
.@SecPompeo says Iran's top military leader Qasem Soleimani was actively plotting in the Middle East and that "President Trump's decision to remove Qasem Soleimani from the battlefield saved American lives."https://t.co/jsfwGuBY8l pic.twitter.com/66XTgFacwh— New Day (@NewDay) January 3, 2020
The Iranian general was a globally famous defense strategist who played a key role in the counter-terrorism operations that led to the collapse of the Daesh terror group in Iraq and Syria.
Soleimani had survived several assassination attempts against him by Western, Israeli and Arab agencies over the past years. In November 2018, The New York Times revealed a March 2017 meeting in Riyadh to assassinate Iranian officials, namely Soleimani.
Tensions between Washington and Tehran have been rising ever since Trump in 2018 withdrew the US from the nuclear deal that Tehran had signed in 2015 with the US and five other nations.
Trump’s policy on Iran has been defined by military threats and economic sanctions. He adopted a hostile approach from day one. However, the so-called maximum pressure campaign has only backfired.