Jan 3, 2020

Trump on killing Soleimani: "We did not take action to start a war"

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Republicans celebrate death of Qasem Soleimani

Sen. Marco Rubio. Photo: Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call

The Pentagon's confirmation Thursday night that Qasem Soleimani, an Iranian military commander and one of the regime's most powerful figures, was killed in airstrike ordered by President Trump set off immediate shock waves throughout Washington.

The big picture: Republican hawks like Sens. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.), Tom Cotton (R-Ark.) and Ben Sasse (R-Neb.) celebrated the assassination of a designated terrorist whose activities in the Middle East have led to the deaths of hundreds of U.S. service members. Democrats, meanwhile, warned of the potentially destabilizing effects of the operation and demanded answers about the use of force without congressional authorization.

Go deeperArrowJan 3, 2020

Trump says Soleimani "should have been taken out many years ago" in first tweets on strike

President Trump said Qasem Soleimani, the Iranian general killed in a U.S. airstrike in Iraq, "should have been taken out many years ago" in his first direct tweets on the strike on Friday.

"General Qassem Soleimani has killed or badly wounded thousands of Americans over an extended period of time, and was plotting to kill many more...but got caught! He was directly and indirectly responsible for the death of millions of people, including the recent large number 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!"
Go deeperArrowJan 3, 2020

U.S. kills top Iranian commander Qasem Soleimani

Soleimani (center). Photo: Press Office of Iranian Supreme Leader/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images

One of the Iranian regime's most powerful figures has been killed in a U.S. airstrike near Baghdad's international airport, the Pentagon has confirmed.

Why it matters: Qasem Soleimani, the leader of the elite Quds force of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC), was as revered by Iran's proxies and supporters across the region as he was reviled by Iran's foes, who considered him the mastermind of state-sponsored terrorism.

Go deeperArrowJan 3, 2020