US President Donald Trump said Friday that Iranian general Qassem Soleiman was killed to "stop a war" and that the country "is ready and prepared" for any response from Tehran.
"We acted last night to stop a war. We did not act to start a war," the head of state said during a statement to reporters at his home in Palm Beach, Florida, adding that he is "ready and prepared." "to make" the necessary decision "by Iran's response to the attack.
Qassem Soleimani, commander of the elite force of the Iranian Revolutionary Guardians, Al-Qods, died today in a US drone attack in Baghdad, Iraqi capital, along with "number two" from the coalition of pro-Iranian paramilitary groups in Iraq Hachd al-Chaab, Abu Mehdi al-Muhandis, and six others.
Donald Trump also noted that Soleimani was planning "imminent and sinister attacks" against US diplomats and military personnel.
"We caught him in the act and neutralized him," said the President of the United States, adding that "the (Soleimani) reign of terror is over."
Donald Trump further considered that the Iranian general "made the killing of innocent people an unhealthy passion" and that "many people could have been saved" if the commander of the elite Guardian of the Revolution had been killed earlier.
The United States announced today that it will send an additional 3,000 troops to the Middle East following the death of that general in an air strike ordered by the US President.
Department of Defense sources, quoted by the Associated Press on condition of anonymity, said the troops belong to Fort Bragg's 82nd Parachute Division in North Carolina.
Those numbers add up to about 700 82nd Division troops who were sent to Kuwait earlier this week following the invasion of the US embassy complex in Baghdad by Iranian-backed militiamen.
The attack has already sparked a number of reactions, with four of the five permanent members of the United Nations Security Council – Russia, France, the United Kingdom and China – alerted to the inevitable escalation of tensions in the region and urging the parties to reduce the tension.
In Iran, the feeling is revenge, with the President and the Revolutionary Guards ensuring that the country and "other free nations in the region" will take revenge on the United States.
Iran's supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, also vowed to avenge the general's death and declared three days of national mourning, while the head of diplomacy called the death "an act of international terrorism".
On the Iraqi side, resigning Prime Minister Adel Abdel Mahdi warned that this assassination would "trigger a devastating war in Iraq" and the great Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani, a leading figure in Iraqi politics, considered the assassination of Iranian general Qassem. Soleimani "an unjustified attack" and "a blatant violation of Iraqi sovereignty."
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