Trump tweets after Quds chief killing: ‘Iran never won a war, but never lost a negotiation!’
The commander of the elite Quds Force was killed overnight in Baghdad International Airport, alongside with several other high-ranking officials from local pro-Iranian militias.
The assassination was carried out on the personal “direction” of Trump, the US military has said, claiming it was acting to protect America and its citizens. Soleimani was blamed for “the deaths of hundreds of American and coalition service members”, and was accused of plotting further attacks on the US.
While the killing prompted a lot of self-back-patting among top US officials over a job well done, the US President himself took an apparent conciliatory tone, suggesting that the attack was carried out to push Tehran into negotiations.
Iran never won a war, but never lost a negotiation!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) January 3, 2020
In a separate thread, Trump praised himself for the assassination, insisting that Soleimani “killed or badly wounded thousands of Americans over an extended period of time, and was plotting to kill many more,” and therefore “should have been taken out many years ago.” He also claimed that the Quds Force chief was “both hated and feared” in his home country, and that the Iranians “are not nearly as saddened as the leaders will let the outside world believe.”
....of PROTESTERS killed in Iran itself. 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!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) 3 января 2020 г.
Earlier in the day, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has called the killing of Soleimani a “defensive action,” and said “the US remains committed to de-escalation.”
Spoke with @HeikoMaas about @realDonaldTrump's decision to take defensive action to eliminate Qassem Soleimani. Germany is also concerned over the Iranian regime’s continued military provocations. The U.S. remains committed to de-escalation.— Secretary Pompeo (@SecPompeo) 3 января 2020 г.
But, with the assassination having triggered massive outrage both in Iran and Iraq, any gesture of outreach from the US is bound to fall flat. Tehran has called the attack an “act of international terrorism,” vowing “vigorous revenge on America” for the death of Soleimani.
Iraqi officials have been angered by the airstrike, with PM Adil Abdul Mahdi calling it a “flagrant violation” of its sovereignty. The murder has apparently reinvigorated Iraq's efforts to get the US troops out; the two major parliamentary blocs have called for the adoption of a law mandating the withdrawal of all foreign military personnel from the country.Also on rt.com US killing of Iranian commander on Iraqi soil violates terms of US stationing troops in the country – Iraqi PM
Influential Iraqi Shiite cleric Muqtada al-Sadr said the killing targeted Iraqi opposition members and extended his condolences to Tehran. He also hinted at the re-establishment of his anti-US militia, known as the Mahdi Army, disbanded over a decade ago, urging its members to get ready to protect Iraq.
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