Donald Trump issued his first words on the killing of Qassem Soleimani, claiming the Iranian general killed thousands of Americans and should have been ‘taken out many years ago.’
‘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,’ the president tweeted 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!,’ he added.
Trump is in Mar-a-Lago for the holiday season and is not going to his golf course Friday, which is where he has spent the majority of his days while in Florida.
Earlier, the president taunted Iran in the wake of an American airstrike that killed Soleimani, saying the country ‘never won a war.’
‘Iran never won a war, but never lost a negotiation!,’ the president tweeted on Friday morning after the head of the elite Quds Force was killed at Baghdad International Airport.
It’s unclear what the president meant in his tweet.
He was critical of President Barack Obama’s policy in the region. The Obama administration pushed for the 2015 agreement that froze Iran’s nuclear program in return for sanctions relief as a way to avoid escalating tensions in the region.
President Trump withdrew from the deal in 2018, claiming Obama’s agreement had emboldened Iran to invest in a campaign of violence in the region.
He began a series of punishing new economic sanctions that accumulated into Friday’s military action.
Or his tweet could be seen as an offer to open negotiations with Tehran.
Meanwhile, Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei proclaimed his country would avenge the bitter loss of his highest ranking general, while Lebanon’s Tehran-backed Hezbollah said it would ramp up its terror ‘with the blessing of his pure blood.’
The Pentagon said Trump had ordered the ‘decisive action to protect U.S. personnel abroad by killing Soleimani’ who was ‘actively developing plans to attack American diplomats and service members in Iraq and throughout the region.’
Scroll down for video
A massive funeral with thousands all dressed in black lined the streets of Revolutionary Guard General Qassem Soleimani’s hometown of Kerman in Iran today. The commander killed Friday in a US strike, was one of the most popular figures in Iran and seen as a deadly adversary by America and its allies