New Delhi: Breaking his silence over the US air strike at Baghdad’s international airport, that killed top commander of the Iranian Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC), Qasem Soleimani and his adviser Mahdi al-Muhandis, earlier Friday, American President Donald Trump asserted that the Iranian General should have been killed long ago. Also Read - ‘Peace, Security Utmost Important’: India Calls For Restraint After Iranian Commander Killed in US Strike
Trump claimed that Soleimani had killed many American nationals and was planning to kill more. “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”, Trump tweeted after posting a picture of the US flag. Also Read - After Airstrike, US Embassy Asks American Citizens to Leave Iraq Immediately; Iran Vows 'Severe Revenge' For General Soleimani's Death
He added,”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.”
Earlier in the day, the White House, in a statement, had confirmed that the airstrike was carried out by the United States at the direction of the President. “The US military has taken decisive defensive action to protect US personnel abroad by killing Qasem Soleimani, the head of the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps-Quds Force, a US-designated Foreign Terrorist Organization. General Soleimani was actively developing plans to attack American diplomats and service members in Iraq and throughout the region”, the statement read.
Qassem Soleimani, the commander of the Quds Force of Iran’s Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC) was seen as a deadly adversary by America and its allies. Besides, Soleimani, Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis, an adviser to Soleimani, was also killed in the US airstrikes that targeted their vehicle on the Baghdad International Airport road. Muhandis was the second-in-command of Iraq’s Popular Mobilization Forces (PMF) or Hashd Shaabi (PMU). Both the IRGC and the PMF had confirmed the death of Soleimani and Muhandis.