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Trump hawkish in first tweet after Soleimani's death

January 3, 2020 at 6:50 pm

US President Donald Trump in Florida, US on 21 December 2019 [Eva Marie Uzcategui T./Anadolu Agency]

US President Donald Trump said Friday that Iran “never won a war,” in the wake of the killing of a top Iranian commander in a US airstrike in the Iraqi capital Baghdad, Anadolu Agency reports.

“Iran never won a war, but never lost a negotiation!” Trump said on Twitter.

His remarks came after US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo’s statement, which was reiterating Washington’s commitment to de-escalation with Iran.

The US confirmed Thursday that it carried out a strike that killed Qasem Soleimani, the commander of the Iranian Revolutionary Guards Corps’ Quds Force.

READ: US Marines arrive at America embassy in Baghdad

In a pair of tweets, Trump defended the assassination of Soleimani, saying the slain general should have been killed long time 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!” Trump said.

“He was directly and indirectly responsible for the death of millions of people, including the recent large number of PROTESTERS killed in Iran itself.”

Although Iran is “not able to properly” admit it, Soleimani was both “hated and feared” within the country, the US president said.

“He should have been taken out many years ago!” Trump added.

Noting that the US has paid Iraq billions of dollars annually for many years, Trump said “that is on top of all else” the US has done for Iraq.

READ: Trump directed killing of head of Iran’s Quds force, says US

“The people of Iraq don’t want to be dominated & controlled by Iran, but ultimately, that is their choice,” he said in a latest tweet. “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 warned.

The Pentagon accused Soleimani of planning to carry out attacks on US diplomats and service members in Iraq and the region, saying the slain leader was responsible for the deaths of hundreds of American and coalition service members.

The attack came amid heightened Iranian tensions with the US which culminated with the storming of the US Embassy compound by Iraqis on Tuesday.