News & Politics

Trump: Soleimani Killed 'Thousands of Americans,' Was 'Hated and Feared' in Iran

President Donald Trump speaks with reporters before boarding Air Force One at Morristown Municipal Airport in Morristown, N.J., Sunday, Aug. 18, 2019, en route to Andrews Air Force Base, Md. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky)

On Friday morning, President Donald Trump tweeted about the evils of Iran’s Quds Force leader Qasem Soleimani, noting that he killed “thousands of Americans,” claiming he was “hated and feared” by his own people, and that he should have died 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!” the president tweeted. “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,” Trump argued. “They are not nearly as saddened as the leaders will let the outside world believe. He should have been taken out many years ago!”

As head of the Quds Force, Soleimani was responsible for Iranian attacks outside the Islamic Republic, but he held tremendous sway within the country as well. He likely was involved in the brutal oppression of protesters. Approximately 1,500 protesters have been murdered by the regime since the middle of November.

Outlets like The Washington Post have reported that Soleimani was “revered” in Iran, but Trump is likely correct that he was also “hated and feared” by his own people.

As for the president’s statement that the Quds Force leader “should have been taken out many yeas ago,” he was entirely right on the money. According to a 2018 report, the Obama Administration prevented Israel from assassinating Soleimani in 2015. How did they prevent the assassination? By warning Israel not to carry it out? No, by going directly to Iran.

Democrats have condemned Trump’s airstrike killing the Iranian leader, but Iran-backed militias in Iraq began the recent conflict with airstrikes killing a U.S. contractor. When the militias invaded the U.S. Embassy in Baghdad, they arguably committed an act of war against the U.S. If Pentagon intelligence is correct and Soleimani was behind the attacks, Trump’s airstrike was a proportionate and fitting response. Iran could have disavowed the Quds Force leader and his plans against the U.S., but the Islamic Republic did not.

Follow Tyler O’Neil, the author of this article, on Twitter at @Tyler2ONeil.