US President Donald Trump on Monday defended his decision to kill Iranian commander Qassem Soleimani, contending Soleimani posed an impending threat to the United States.
“The Fake News Media and their Democrat Partners are working hard to determine whether or not the future attack by terrorist Soleimani was ‘eminent’ or not, & was my team in agreement.” Trump wrote, presumably misspelling “imminent.”
The answer to both is a strong YES, but it doesn’t really matter because of his horrible past!” Trump said in the post.
In mid-October Soleimani instructed his Shia militia allies in Iraq to step up attacks on US targets in the country using sophisticated weapons provided by Iran, according to Reuters citing two militia commanders and two security sources briefed on the gathering.
Soleimani was “directly responsible” for the death of 603 US service members, in addition to thousands wounded, according to US Vice President Mike Pence.
In Syria Soleimani “continued support to the murderous regime…aiding and abetting [Syrian President] Assad’s brutal abuses against the Syrian people,” Pence said in a tweet on January 4.
The US Treasury Department sanctioned Soleimani in relation to “human rights abuses in Syria, for his role as the Commander of the IRGC-QF, the primary conduit for Iran’s support to the Syrian General Intelligence Directorate (GID),” according to a May 2011 statement.
The Iranian military chief was also behind the attempted assassination of Saudi Arabian ambassador to the US Adel al-Jubeir in 2011 and oversaw “a terrorist attack attempt on American soil,” according to Pence.