Iran Vows ‘Harsh Retaliation' After US Kills Top General In Strike Ordered By Trump
Iranian leaders have promised revenge against the United States after Trump issued a drone strike that killed the country’s top general, Qassim Soleiman, the New York Times reports.
In response to the calls for retaliation, New York and Los Angeles have increased security, Fox News reports.
According to the New York Times, General Suleimani was a powerful strategist who represented Iran’s influence across the region and led the powerful Quds Force of the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps.
Suleimani, who led nearly every significant operation by Iranian intelligence and military forces over the past two decades, was killed after Donald Trump authorized an American drone attack at Baghdad airport, the New York Times reports.
“Iran never won a war, but never lost a negotiation!” Trump tweeted Friday (Jan. 3).
Iran’s supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, called for retaliation and for three days of national mourning, the New York Times reports.
“His departure to God does not end his path or his mission, but a forceful revenge awaits the criminals who have his blood and the blood of the other martyrs last night on their hands,” the supreme leader said in a statement, the New York Times reports.
Iranian President Hassan Rouhani echoed the threat of revenge and vowed there will be consequences, Al Jazeera reports.
In a statement from Foreign Minister Javad Zarif, he condemned the killing as an “act of state terrorism,” Al Jazeera reports.
"The pure blood of Qassem Soleimani will surely strengthen the tree of resistance, unite the Iranian people, and make US policies in the region less effective by the day," he said, Al Jazeera reports.
Gatherings are being organized in Tehran and across the country after Friday (Jan. 3) prayers to commemorate Soleimani and denounce the U.S. and Israel, Al Jazeera reports.
In New York, Mayor Bill de Blasio spoke to top NYPD officials about immediate steps the department could take to protect key areas in the city, Fox News reports.
“Have spoken with Commissioner Shea + Dep Commissioner Miller about immediate steps NYPD will take to protect key NYC locations from any attempt by Iran or its terrorist allies to retaliate against America,” de Blasio tweeted. “We will have to be vigilant against this threat for a long time to come.”
Along with killing Soleimani, six others perished in the drone attack, Fox News reports.
"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 Pentagon said in a statement, Fox News reports.
“Without the approval of Congress, the US Government effectively declared war on Iran tonight,” de Blasio tweeted. “The American people had no say in the matter, despite voting time + again to stop endless wars + bring our troops home. This one will not end soon.”
The Los Angeles Police Department also issued a statement after the attack, tweeting, “We will continue to communicate with state, local, federal and international law enforcement partners regarding any significant intel that may develop,” Fox News report.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi wants answers. She is calling on the Trump administration to immediately brief lawmakers about the attack and what the White House plans to do next, NBC News reports.
"Tonight's airstrike risks provoking further dangerous escalation of violence. America — and the world — cannot afford to have tensions escalate to the point of no return," Pelosi said in a statement, NBC News reports.
Pelosi said the strike was carried out without an “authorization for use of military force” against Iran and without the consultation of Congress, NBC News reports.
"The full Congress must be immediately briefed on this serious situation and on the next steps under consideration by the administration, including the significant escalation of the deployment of additional troops to the region," Pelosi said, NBC News reports.
The strike was characterized by the Defense Department as "decisive defensive action to protect U.S. personnel abroad," NBC News reports.
“[Soleimani] was actively developing plans to attack American diplomats and service members in Iraq and throughout the region," the department said in a statement, NBC News reports.
Senator Lindsey Graham was among several Republicans that praised Trump’s move, saying, “To the Iranian government: If you want more, you will get more,” NBC News reports.