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Imminent Attacks? Trump Originally Ordered Soleimani's Death In June

Imminent Attacks? Trump Originally Ordered Soleimani's Death In June”

President Donald Trump and Defense Secretary Mark Esper have very different views on whether USA embassies were facing imminent threat, when Trump ordered a drone strike killing Iranian Gen. Soleimani followed up the strike just days later by initiating an attack on the U.S. Embassy in Baghdad that forced Trump to deploy military reinforcements.

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo told reporters on January 10 that an attack on American embassies was looming. Congressional Democrats have said that they were left completely out of the loop over the planned attack.

Fellow retired Marine general John Kelly, then Trump's chief of staff, "regularly told military officials that he wanted to talk to Trump before they actually carried out one of his orders and sometimes told them to hold off", the Post reports, quoting one former senior administration who explained that Trump would "get spun up, and if you bought some time, you could get him calmed down, and then explain to him what his decision might do".

"I share the president's view that probably - my expectation was they were going to go after our embassies", Esper said. He did not cite any specific intelligence during the interview. As the head of the elite Quds Force, a branch of the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps, Soleimani had for years spread Iran's influence across the wider Middle East, strengthening Shia militias from Lebanon to Iraq.

Levi and other American services members are suing Iran in an effort to prove the attacks that took their limbs and loved ones were aided by Soleimani's forces.

In a stunning admission, Esper said in a television interview that Trump merely believed embassies were something Martyr Suleimani might want to target, but had no evidence of a specific plot. News reported on Monday that Trump authorized Soleimani's killing months ago, in June, though the president still had to give the final authorization on any specific mission.

His look into the rear-view mirror squared up with the revelation Monday that, according to an official familiar with the situation, the USA intelligence community began watching Soleimani more closely last spring as Soleimani escalated a campaign to counter increased pressure from the United States.

Barr said in a news conference Monday that Soleimani was a "legitimate military target" and the strike was a "legitimate act of self-defense".

The visit by the Syrian delegation is primarily aimed to discuss bilateral ties and the latest regional and global developments as well as offering condolences to senior Iranian officials over the martyrdom of Lieutenant General Qassem Soleimani, the commander of the IRGC Quds Force.



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