US President Donald Trump has broken his silence after he directed the killing of Iran’s elite Al Quds force General Qasem Soleimani in a air strike at Baghdad’s international airport .
At the direction of the President, the U.S. military has taken decisive defensive action to protect U.S. personnel abroad by killing Qasem Soleimani, the head of the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps-Quds Force, a US-designated Foreign Terrorist Organization.
— The White House (@WhiteHouse) January 3, 2020
Trump defended the action saying Qasem Soleimani had contributed to ‘terrorist plots as far away as New Delhi and London’. The strike also killed the deputy chief of Iraq’s powerful Hashed Al Shaabi paramilitary force.
“The recent attacks on US targets in Iraq, including rocket strikes that killed an American and injured four American servicemen very badly, as well as a violent assault on our embassy in Baghdad, were carried out at the direction of Soleimani,” Trump told reporters at Mar-a-Lago in Florida.
“Soleimani made the death of innocent people his sick passion, contributing to terrorist plots as far away as New Delhi and London. Today we remember and honour the victims of Soleimani’s many atrocities and we take comfort in knowing that his reign of terror is over,” he said.
Trump alleged that Soleimani has been perpetrating acts of terror to destabilise the Middle East for the last 20 years.
“What the United States did yesterday should have been done long ago. A lot of lives would have been saved. Just recently Soleimani led the brutal repression of protesters in Iran, where more than 1,000 innocent civilians were tortured and killed by their own government,” he said.
Amidst escalation of tension with Iran, Trump claimed Soleimani’s killing will not lead to war.
“We took action last night to stop a war. We did not take action to start a war. I have deep respect for the Iranian people. They are a remarkable people with an incredible heritage and unlimited potential. We do not seek regime change,” Trump said.
Trump said at his direction, the United States military successfully executed a flawless precision strike that killed the ‘number one terrorist’ anywhere in the world.
“Soleimani was plotting imminent and sinister attacks on American diplomats and military personnel, but we caught him in the act and terminated him,” he said.
“Under my leadership America’s policy is unambiguous to terrorists who harm or intend to harm any American. We will find you. We will eliminate you. We will always protect our diplomats, service members, all Americans and our allies,” Trump said.