Following the killing of the Iranian Genera;, Soleimani, Trump in a press conference said that Soleimani was plotting to attack US before he was killed.
“Soleimani was plotting imminent and sinister attacks on American diplomats and military personnel,” Pres. Trump says. “But we caught him in the act and terminated him.
The ramifications of Trump’s decision to kill Soleimani were still coming into focus Friday; they could include an end to the U.S. military partnership with Iraq in fighting the Islamic State extremist group. Some Iraqi politicians called the attack, which also killed an Iraqi general, a violation of Iraqi sovereignty and questioned whether U.S. forces should be expelled. The U.S. has about 5,200 troops in Iraq, mostly to train and advise Iraqi forces fighting IS.
In brief remarks to the nation, Trump said the Iranian general had been plotting “imminent and sinister” attacks. At the Pentagon, Army Gen. Mark Milley, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, said the U.S. had “compelling, clear, unambiguous intelligence” of Soleimani plotting violent acts.
“Oh, by the way, it might still happen,” Milley said, referring to the planned attacks.
Trump called Soleimani a ruthless figure who “made the death of innocent people his sick passion. … We take comfort in knowing that his reign of terror is over.”
The president warned Iran against retaliating. He said the U.S. military has Iranian targets “fully identified” for counter-retaliation. The U.S. has a wide range of offensive and defensive forces in the Gulf area within range of Iran.
Asked about possible retaliation, Milley told reporters, “Is there risk? You’re damn right there’s risk.” He added, “There is a range of possible futures here, and the ball is in the Iranian court.”
As Iran warned of “harsh” reprisals, the U.S. Homeland Security Department watched for trouble brewing on the domestic front and reported “no specific, credible threats” in the first hours after the American attack in Baghdad, said the department’s acting secretary, Chad F. Wolf.
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