Trump ordered to kill Soleimani seven months ago (report)

UNITED STATES (OBSERVATORY NEWS)

US President Donald Trump authorized an operation against Iranian General Qassem Suleimani seven months ago, provided that an American citizen dies through Iran’s fault, the NBC channel reported citing statements by senior officials of the US administration.

Trump decided to strike at Suleimani after an American citizen was killed in an attack on a U.S. military base in Iraq.

According to NBC, after Iran shot down an American drone in the Strait of Hormuz in June 2019, former National Security Advisor John Bolton and U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo called on Trump to retaliate in the form of an operation against Suleimani.

Trump said he would take this step if an American citizen dies due to Iran. At the same time, Tehran claimed that the drone was shot down during a violation of Iranian airspace.

The June presidential decree contained the condition that Trump finally approve any operation against Suleimani. It is this decree that explains why the military suggested Trump to kill Suleymani in response to the attack in Iraq, which led to the death of an American contractor and the wounds of four American troops.

According to NBC, all this may cast doubt on the pretexts put forward by the Trump administration to justify the operation, in particular to assert that Suleimani planned attacks on the Americans.

On January 3, the United States conducted an operation near the Baghdad International Airport against the commander of the elite unit of the Iranian army, Al-Quds special forces, General Kassem Suleymani and the deputy head of the Iraqi Shiite militia, Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis, who in Washington are considered involved in organizing the attack on US Embassy in Baghdad December 31.

The assassination of Suleymani exacerbated relations between the US and Iran. Iran in response fired missiles at US bases in Iraq, RIA Novosti said. The United States immediately imposed sanctions on 17 Iranian mining and metals companies, as well as a number of Iranian officials.

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