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Trump walks back targeting cultural sites: "I like to obey the law"

President Trump said in the Oval Office Tuesday that he would obey international laws banning the targeting of cultural sites when considering how to retaliate against a potential Iranian attack.

Why it matters: Trump tweeted and then doubled down on a threat this week to target Iranian cultural sites, which is considered a war crime and was denounced as such by Iranian officials. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and Defense Secretary Mark Esper both contradicted Trump's comments when pressed by reporters, stating repeatedly that the U.S. military would follow the laws of armed conflict.

What he's saying:

"They are allowed to kill our people. They are allowed to maim our people, they're allowed to blow up everything that we have and there's nothing to stop them. We are, according to various laws, supposed to be very careful with their cultural heritage. And you know what if that's what the law is, I like to obey the law."
— President Trump

Go deeper: Ripples from Soleimani strike will be felt for years to come