Trump: Killed Iranian General ‘Should Have Been Taken Out Many Years Ago’

January 3, 2020 Updated: January 5, 2020
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The Iranian general killed by the United States should have been killed years ago, President Donald Trump said in his first comments about the strike.

The United States took out Qassem Soleimani, the head of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps Quds Force, near Baghdad International Airport early on Jan. 3 local time.

“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,” Trump said in Twitter posts Friday morning.

“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!”

Trump initially posted a picture of an American flag before adding a short statement, claiming, “Iran never won a war, but never lost a negotiation!”

Later Friday, he wrote, “The United States has paid Iraq Billions of Dollars a year, for many years. That is on top of all else we have done for them. The people of Iraq don’t want to be dominated & controlled by Iran, but ultimately, that is their choice. Over the last 15 years, Iran has gained more and more control over Iraq, and the people of Iraq are not happy with that. It will never end well!”

Trump also shared a number of posts about the killing, including one that said there were numerous American families watching news of Soleimani’s killing closely because of how many soldiers the commander’s attacks killed and wounded.

Iranian leaders promised revenge for the killing.

Soleimani’s efforts “won’t be stopped by his martyrdom, by God’s Power, rather a Severe Revenge awaits the criminals who have stained their hands with his and the other martyrs’ blood last night. Martyr Soleimani is an international figure of Resistance and all such people will seek revenge,” Iran’s Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei said.

Countries around the world urged de-escalation on both sides, with some openly supporting the strike and others condemning the action.

Follow Zachary on Twitter: @zackstieber