US President Donald Trump threatened to hit 52 Iranian sites “very fast and very hard” if Iran attacks Americans or US assets.
His statement followed the US assassination of Iranian general Qasem Soleimani, head of Iran’s elite Quds Force, in a drone strike.
Trump wrote on Twitter, “Iran is talking very boldly about targeting certain USA assets as revenge for our ridding the world of their terrorist leader who had just killed an American, & badly wounded many others, not to mention all of the people he had killed over his lifetime, including recently hundreds of Iranian protesters. He was already attacking our Embassy, and preparing for additional hits in other locations. Iran has been nothing but problems for many years.”
He said the US had identified 52 Iranian sites, some “at a very high level & important to Iran & the Iranian culture, and those targets, and Iran itself, WILL BE HIT VERY FAST AND VERY HARD” if Tehran strikes at the US. “The USA wants no more threats!” Trump added.
Shortly after Trump’s tweeted, a website operated by the US government has been hacked by a group claiming to represent the government of Iran.
Trump had earlier said Soleimani was “terminated” when he was on the verge of attacking US diplomats but he insisted that Washington is not seeking to topple Iran’s government. Trump also blamed Soleimani of being responsible for terrorist plots in New Delhi and London.
“They attacked us, & we hit back. If they attack again, which I would strongly advise them not to do, we will hit them harder than they have ever been hit before,” Trump tweeted on January 5th, 2020.
Iran has vowed to avenge his killing. The death of Soleimani marks a major escalation in the standoff between Washington and Tehran.
Thousands of mourners gathered on the streets of Baghdad on January 4th, 2020 for the funeral procession for Iran’s slain military commander Soleimani and others killed in US airstrike in Iraq on January 3rd, 2020. The mourners waved Iraqi and militia flags and chanted “death to America”.c
A fresh new airstrike targeted targeting Iraq’s Popular Mobilization Forces umbrella grouping of Iran-backed Shi’ite militias near camp Taji north of Baghdad have killed six people and critically wounded three on January 4th, 2020. However, a US official denied that the attack was carried out by the Americans.
Photo credit: @WhiteHouse