Doubts about the US excuse for killing the Iranian general
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Doubts about the US excuse for killing the Iranian general

Top US national security officials continue to defend President Trump’s decision to order an airstrike that killed Iranian Major General Qasem Soleimani.

Trump, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and top military officials gave similar explanations for targeting Soleimani.

Iranian Major General Qasem Soleimani.

`We have to prepare, we have to be ready and we have eliminated a bad guy from the battlefield,` Secretary of State Pompeo responded to CNN on January 5, avoiding questions about details of potential attacks.

Questions continue to arise about when the US launched the airstrike and whether the government had considered all the consequences of the attack.

A source familiar with the matter from the Republican Party admitted that in the past, President Trump was often `reluctant to take military action`.

The advisers asserted that if the President `does not react, they (Iran) will continue to cross the line`.

`I believe the President is not reluctant,` the source said, adding that when Trump is finally ready to act, `no one can stop him.`

CNN once reported that the Trump administration internally debated the airstrike decision and quietly prepared a legal excuse before launching the attack campaign.

After the December 29 meeting at the Mar-a-Lago resort, where Trump was briefed by the national security team on options related to Iran, many officials were surprised when the White House boss

Officials meeting with Trump include Secretary of Defense Mark Esper, Secretary of State Pompeo, National Security Advisor Robert O’Brien and General Mark Milley.

Some aides hoped Trump would agree to a less risky option, but once he was briefed on the details of the plan to attack Soleimani, he was only interested in this option.

Since then, the US has provided very little information about the specific threats Soleimani posed as well as the legal basis for the decision to attack.

An anonymous intelligence source revealed that before the airstrike, the government had information that Iranian surface-to-air missiles and other military weapons under Washington’s surveillance were moving to at least two bases.

O’Brien said on January 3 that the airstrike was carried out based on intelligence information about Soleimani’s movements and information about attacks that the Iranian general was planning to carry out on military personnel.

`Soleimani was in Iraq and moving around the Middle East. He had just left Damascus, where he planned to attack US soldiers, airmen, navies and diplomats. Therefore, this airstrike was intended to stop

When asked to what extent the threat posed was, General Milley replied that they were `absolutely certain` but that the timing of Iranian attacks was in the coming days or weeks.

According to a senior Trump administration official, Soleimani is always under regular surveillance by the US intelligence community and `capturing intelligence about Soleimani is a top priority`.

However, some lawmakers said the information the Trump administration released last week was not enough to paint a complete picture, raising questions about whether the excuses the administration gave met the criteria.

A Democratic source commented that the information was `completely unconvincing` and could not help prove a `potential` threat.

In an interview with CNN on January 3, New Mexico Democratic senator Tom Udall said he did not believe the threat of an attack on the US was `close` as President Trump and officials said.

`My staff was briefed on the situation by representatives from various agencies within the US government and they left without feeling there was evidence of a potential attack,` Udall said, adding that he thought General

However, a US defense official argued that the level of `potential` depends on each person’s awareness.

Trump asserted that the airstrike was intended to `prevent a war`.

According to a source knowledgeable about government operations, the above comments partly show what the intention behind the attack is.

But the idea could betray the administration’s real goal of reestablishing a deterrent to Iran, a step national security officials have long said is necessary.

Maryland Democratic Senator Chris Van Hollen said that all the information provided by the Trump administration still `cannot change my view that there is no need to escalate the situation in Iraq and Iran`.

`I have not received any additional information to support the administration’s claim that there was a potential attack on Americans,` he said.

Vu Hoang (According to CNN)

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