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Trump says US will hit 52 Iranian targets ‘very fast and very hard’ if Iran attacks after Soleimani death

US President Donald Trump and Iranian General Qasem Soleimani (Sayyed Shahab-o-din Vajedi / Released)
January 04, 2020

President Donald Trump on Saturday warned that the Iran against retaliation for the U.S. air strike that killed one of its top military commanders, Gen. Qassem Soleimani, and said the U.S. has additional targets if conflict continues to escalate with Iran.

In a series of tweets, Trump took note of Iran “talking very boldly about targeting certain USA assets as revenge,” alluding to Iranian supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei’s call for “severe revenge” and one Iranian military commander’s suggestion on Friday night of attacking U.S. Navy warships in the region.

“Let this serve as a WARNING that if Iran strikes any Americans, or American assets, we have targeted 52 Iranian sites,” Trump said.

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Trump further suggested that the number of Iranian targets is equal to the number of U.S. hostages taken by Iran during the 1979 Iran hostage crisis.

He said the Iranian targets include some that are “very high level & important to Iran & the Iranian culture” and “WILL BE HIT VERY FAST AND VERY HARD.”

Trump’s latest warnings to Iran come amid reports of missile strikes that have landed near the U.S. Embassy in Baghdad, Iraq, which was the site of destructive pro-Iranian demonstrations earlier this week.

Those embassy demonstrations were part of the escalatory actions throughout this week between the U.S. and Iran, which have included prior U.S. strikes against pro-Iranian militias deemed responsible for rocket attacks that killed and wounded U.S. personnel in Iraq.

Members of some of one of the Iranian backed Iraqi militias were present with Gen. Soleimani at the Baghdad International Airport when he was killed by a U.S. drone strike.

In his Saturday tweets, Trump included his justifications for the killing of Soleimani, saying the commander of the Quds Force of Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC) had already wounded and killed Americans, had prompted the recent attacks on the Baghdad embassy and was “preparing for additional hits in other locations.”

In comments Friday, Trump suggested he does not a war with Iran, but he is “prepared to take whatever action is necessary.