President Donald Trump gave his first statement after giving direct orders to the the United States to carry out a targeted strike that successfully killed the top Iranian general, Qassem Soleimani.
“At my direction, the U.S. military executed a flawless military precision strike that killed the number 1 terrorist anywhere in the world,” said President Trump during his statement. “Soleimani was plotting imminent and sinister attacks and U.S. diplomats and military personnel, but we caught him in the act and terminated him.”
President Trump did not mince words when he spoke about his intentions toward those who wish ill against America. “Under my leadership,” Trump said, “America’s policy is unambiguous to terrorists who harm or intend to harm any Americans: We will find you. We will eliminate you.”
— The White House (@WhiteHouse) January 3, 2020
“Soleimani was an evil genius,” former acting and deputy CIA director Michael Morell told ‘CBS This Morning.’ “He had a lot of American blood on his hands, The world is a better place without him.”
Ordering the strike on “second most powerful person in Iran” was, according to Yahoo.com, one of President Trump’s “boldest strokes in foreign policy” but critics “lambasted” Trump’s move as “his most reckless.”
During his statement Friday, Trump noted that Soleimani had “targeted, injured and murdered hundreds of American civilians.”
“Soleimani made death his sick passion,” Trump explained, “…and we take comfort knowing that his reign of terror is over.”
Trump then addressed whether his actions were intended to start a war:
We took action last night to stop a war. We did not take action to start a war. We do not seek regime change. However, the Iranian regime’s aggression in the region, including the use of proxy fighters to destabilize its neighbors, must end and it must end now. The future belongs to the people of Iran, those who seek peaceful coexistence and cooperation, not the terrorist warlords who plunder their nation to finance bloodshed abroad.
Tensions continue to rise in the region as the U.S. sends more military personnel to Iraq and surrounding areas. Iran responded by promising retribution to those responsible for Soleimani’s death.