President Trump accused Iranian general Qassem Soleimani of planning “imminent and sinister attacks” Friday in his first televised remarks since the deadly airstrike that killed the general at Baghdad’s international airport.
“We took action last night to stop a war,” Trump said during brief remarks at his Mar-a-Lago resort in Florida. “We did not take action to start a war.”
Without divulging details about what led to the early morning airstrike that killed Soleimani and nine others, the president said the United States “caught” the general “in the act and terminated him.”
“Soleimani made the death of innocent people his sick passion,” Trump added, saying that “what the U.S. did yesterday should have been done long ago.”
Later Friday night, during an event with evangelical supporters, Trump addressed the airstrike, saying, “Qassem Soleimani has been killed and his bloody rampage is now forever gone.”
The killing of Soleimani, the head of Iran’s elite Quds Force, marks a major escalation in the standoff between Washington and Tehran, which has careened from one crisis to another since Trump withdrew from the 2015 nuclear deal and imposed crippling sanctions. – READ MORE