By David Montanaro | Fox News
The Pentagon confirmed Thursday evening that Trump had ordered the attack that killed Soleimani and other military officials at Baghdad International Airport in Iraq. Iran’s top “shadow commander” was responsible for the deaths of hundreds of American and coalition service members and the wounding of thousands more, the State Department said.
Pompeo said the strike was carried out to prevent an “imminent attack” by forces directed by Soleimani.
“He’s got hundreds of American lives and blood on his hands. What was sitting before us was his travels throughout the region, his efforts to make a significant strike against Americans. There would have been many Muslims killed as well, Iraqis and people in other countries. It was a strike that was aimed at disrupting that plot, disrupting further aggression and we hope, setting the conditions for de-escalation as well,” he said.
WASHINGTON POST BLASTED FOR REFERRING TO QASSIM SOLEIMANI AS IRAN’S ‘MOST REVERED MILITARY LEADER’
Pompeo said Trump has taken a “fundamentally different” approach to dealing with Iran, arguing the country was emboldened by the softer policies of the Obama administration.
“We didn’t send pallets of cash to the Iranians. We didn’t pay for hostages. We didn’t create a deal which would have given them a clear pathway to a nuclear weapon. We have taken a very different approach. We believe it’s the one that will ultimately lead to success and stability in the Middle East,” he said.
Brigadier General Esmail Ghaani, who served as Soleimani’s deputy commander since 1997, will now take over the helm as head of the Quds Force, Reuters reported, citing Iranian state media. Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei also warned “harsh retaliation is waiting” for the U.S.David Montanaro is a Senior Editor with Fox News.
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