Trump Addresses ‘Flawless’ Killing of Soleimani – Issues ‘Unambiguous’ Warning to Terrorists

President Donald Trump spoke to reporters on Friday following a U.S. air strike that led to the death of Iranian Major-General Qassem Soleimani.

“Last night at my direction, the United States military successfully executed a flawless precision strike that killed the number one terrorist anywhere in the world: Qassem Soleimani,” Trump said during the brief address from his Mar-a-Lago resort in Florida.

Soleimani, one of the most powerful figures in the Iranian government, was the spearhead of Iran’s spreading military influence in the Middle East.

MORE: Iraqis Praise Trump After He Kills ‘Their Tormentor’ — Celebrate in the Streets of Baghdad

Trump said Soleimani was planning to carry out “imminent and sinister attacks” on Americans and U.S. military forces, but was “caught in the act.”

“We took action last night to stop a war. We did not take action to start a war,” the president said during the Friday afternoon press conference.

“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 tweeted earlier in the day. “He should have been taken out many years ago!”

Soleimani was killed in an air strike at Baghdad’s International Airport on Thursday along with Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis, the leader of an Iraqi paramilitary force.

The Pentagon said late on Thursday the air strike that killed Soleimani was carried out at the express direction of Trump.

“At the direction of the President, the U.S. military has taken decisive defensive action to protect U.S. personnel abroad by killing Qasem Soleimani, the head of the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps-Quds Force, a U.S.-designated Foreign Terrorist Organization,” the Department of the Defense said in a statement.

MORE: Ilhan Omar: Trump Killed Soleimani Because He ‘Needs the Distraction’

The strike followed the storming of the U.S. Embassy compound in Baghdad on Tuesday by Iraqi militia forces.

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