Fox News reports that the Pentagon confirmed late last evening that the President ordered an airstrike at Baghdad International Airport in Iraq which killed military officials, including Iranian General Qassem Soleimani.
The killing comes one day after Iranian dictator Ayatollah Ali Khamenei taunted President Trump, telling him, “You can’t do anything.”
That guy has tweeted that we see Iran responsible for the events in Baghdad & we will respond to Iran.
1st: You can’t do anything.
2nd: If you were logical —which you’re not— you’d see that your crimes in Iraq, Afghanistan… have made nations hate you. https://t.co/hMGOEDwHuY
— Khamenei.ir (@khamenei_ir) January 1, 2020
Soleimani led the Quds Force for the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps-Quds (IRGC) which supported terrorist proxies in the Middle East.
The State Department–as Fox News reporter Lucas Tomlinson points out–says Iran was responsible for the deaths of 608 U.S. troops in Iraq.
“Qasem Soleimani led all Iranian and Iranian-backed forces in those operations,” writes Tomlinson on Twitter. “17% of U.S. troops killed in Iraq from 2003 to 2011 orchestrated by Iran, State Dept. says”
State Department says Iran responsible for killing 608 U.S. troops during Iraq War.
Qasem Soleimani led all Iranian and Iranian-backed forces in those operations.
17% of U.S. troops killed in Iraq from 2003 to 2011 orchestrated by Iran, State Dept. says
— Lucas Tomlinson (@LucasFoxNews) January 3, 2020
Former U.S. Army Chief of Staff Gen. Ray Odierno, told Fox News in 2015 that Soleimani was responsible for “killing many Americans.” “In fact,” Odierno said, “I would say the last two years I was [in the Middle East], the majority of our casualties came from his surrogates, not Sunni or Al Qaeda.”
Secretary of Defense Mark Esper said Soleimani was “actively developing plans to attack American diplomats and service members in Iraq and throughout the region” and ordered U.S. citizens to leave Iraq immediately.
President Trump reacted to the airstrike on Twitter, with a simple, yet powerful message:
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) January 3, 2020
Iranian President Hassan Rouhani vowed to take revenge against the United States after the airstrike, writing on the social media site, “The flag of General Soleimani in defense of the country’s territorial integrity and the fight against terrorism and extremism in the region will be raised, and the path of resistance to US excesses will continue. The great nation of Iran will take revenge for this heinous crime.”
The flag of General Soleimani in defense of the country's territorial integrity and the fight against terrorism and extremism in the region will be raised, and the path of resistance to US excesses will continue. The great nation of Iran will take revenge for this heinous crime.
— Hassan Rouhani (@HassanRouhani) January 3, 2020
Fox News’ Sean Hannity claimed he confirmed that “our military, our State Department, our president, everybody is on high alert.” He said, “Every option is, I was told, ‘on the table’ and that American interests in Iraq and the region will be protected.”
“I will say the big headline is this is a huge victory for American intelligence, a huge victory for our military,” he continued. “A huge victory for the State Department and a huge victory and total leadership by the president. It is the opposite of what happened in Benghazi.”
Secretary of State Mike Pompeo tweeted a video of Iraqis celebrating the killing of Soleimani, writing, Iraqis — Iraqis — dancing in the street for freedom; thankful that General Soleimani is no more.”
Iraqis — Iraqis — dancing in the street for freedom; thankful that General Soleimani is no more. pic.twitter.com/huFcae3ap4
— Secretary Pompeo (@SecPompeo) January 3, 2020
In 2017, Pompeo–who was then-CIA Director– sent a letter to Soleimani warning him that the U.S. would hold him and Iran “accountable for any attacks on American interests in Iraq by forces that are under their control.”
Speaking at a defense forum panel in California, Pompeo said, “We wanted to make sure he and the leadership in Iran understood that in a way that was crystal clear,” he said.