Donald Trump has spoken out following the killing of Qassem Soleimani (pictured above), who was the head of the elite Quds Force and Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis, the deputy-leader of Iraq’s Popular Mobilization Forces at Baghdad International Airport.
The US president taunted Iran following calls for “Jihad” from their supreme leader in retaliation for the drone strike ordered by Trump.
The burning remains of a car that was among a convoy the men had been travelling in
Trump said the Iranian general killed thousands of Americans and should have been “taken out many years ago.”
Trump tweeted on Friday morning: “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.”
He added: “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!”
Meanwhile, Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei proclaimed his country would avenge the bitter loss of his highest ranking general, while Lebanon’s Tehran-backed Hezbollah said it would ramp up its terror “with the blessing of his pure blood.”
Reacting to this earlier on Twitter, Trump, who is in Mar-a-Lago for the holiday season, taunted Iran, writing: “Iran never won a war, but never lost a negotiation!”
It’s unclear what the president meant in his tweet about Iran winning a negotiation.
Trump was critical of President Barack Obama’s policy in the region. The Obama administration pushed for the 2015 agreement that froze Iran’s nuclear program in return for sanctions relief as a way to avoid escalating tensions in the region.
President Trump withdrew from the deal in 2018, claiming Obama’s agreement had emboldened Iran to invest in a campaign of violence in the region. He began a series of punishing new economic sanctions that accumulated into Friday’s military action, Dailymail reports.
But his tweet could be seen as an offer to open negotiations with Tehran.
The Pentagon said Trump had ordered the “decisive action to protect U.S. personnel abroad by killing Soleimani” who was “actively developing plans to attack American diplomats and service members in Iraq and throughout the region.”
Militia leader Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis, who helped besiege the US embassy Tuesday, was among those who died in the US drone strike.
Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis
Photos and videos shared online shows thousands of mourners on the streets of Soleimani’s hometown in Kerman, while tens of thousands poured onto the streets of Tehran, chanting “Death to America” and burning the flag of the United States.
Meanwhile, World War 3 is still trending on Twitter as web users fear this could lead to a war (read here).