President Donald Trump said Friday that Iranian military commander Qasem Soleimani — who was assassinated in a US strike — should have been killed long before.
In his first substantial comments on the operation, carried out earlier Friday at Baghdad’s international airport, Trump tweeted that Soleimani “should have been taken out many years ago!”
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!” Trump said.
His only earlier comments on the dramatic news included a tweet featuring a picture of a US flag and another, cryptic tweet stating that “Iran never won a war, but never lost a negotiation!”
Earlier, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo Soleimani was planning imminent action that threatened American citizens when he was killed in the strike.
Soleimani, the commander of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps’ foreign operations arm, was killed by US forces in an air raid on Baghdad international airport.
“He was actively plotting in the region to take actions — a big action, as he described it — that would have put dozens if not hundreds of American lives at risk,” Pompeo told CNN.
“We know it was imminent,” Pompeo said of Soleimani’s plot, without going into detail about the nature of the planned operation.
“This was an intelligence-based assessment that drove our decision-making process,” Pompeo added.
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