FILE - In this Dec. 24, 2019 photo, President Donald Trump speaks to members of the media following a Christmas Eve video teleconference with members of the military at his Mar-a-Lago estate in Palm Beach, Fla. As a candidate for the White House, Donald Trump repeatedly promised that he would “immediately” replace President Barack Obama’s health care law with a plan of his own that would provide “insurance for everybody.” Back then, Trump made it sound that his plan — “much less expensive and much better” than the Affordable Care Act — was imminent. And he put drug companies on notice that their pricing power no longer would be “politically protected.” Nearly three years after taking office, Americans still are waiting for Trump’s big reveal. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)

Trump says Iranian should have been ‘taken out’ years ago

The strike marks a major escalation in the conflict between Washington and Iran

President Donald Trump said Friday that the targeted killing of Iranian Gen. Qassem Soleimani was ordered because he was “plotting to kill” many Americans.

In his first comments since the early Friday strike against the head of Iran’s elite Quds Force, Trump said Soleimani was also responsible for killing and wounding “thousands” of Americans and many more in the region.

“He should have been taken out many years ago,” Trump tweeted from his private club in Palm Beach, Florida, where he was vacationing.

The strike marked a major escalation in the conflict between Washington and Iran, as Iran vowed “harsh retaliation” for the killing of the senior military leader. The two nations have faced repeated crises since Trump withdrew from the 2015 nuclear deal and imposed crippling sanctions.

The United States urged its citizens to leave Iraq “immediately” as fears mounted that the strike and any retaliation by Iran could ignite a conflict that engulfs the region.

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo defended the strike as “wholly lawful,” saying that Soleimani posed an “imminent” threat against the U.S. and its interests in the region.

“There was an imminent attack,” Pompeo said in an interview on Fox News Channel’s “Fox & Friends.” “The orchestrator, the primary motivator for the attack, was Qassem Soleimani.”

Trump opted not to play a round of golf on Friday, and he was not expected to be seen publicly until he travels to Miami for an afternoon event for his reelection campaign.

ALSO READ: Donald Trump’s trade wars hit B.C.’s struggling forest industry

The Associated Press

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Inside the Mission RCMP: COMPSTAT – Sharing vital information

Part Two of a five-part series on the Mission RCMP detachment

35,000 doses of fentanyl part of huge Maple Ridge bust

Largest seizure in RCMP detachment’s history included submachine gun, body armour

Value Village robbed at knifepoint in Mission

Masked man makes off with cash, avoids police K9 units and escapes

Mission man who nearly died from COVID-19 at Abbotsford hospital reflects on one-month battle

Robert Billyard was in an induced coma to ensure his body would not fight the ventilator to breathe

One more day in jail for man found with items from Abbotsford home break-in

Police found Ryan Gillanders, 22, with wallets, electronics and more

STANDING TALL: Forestry workers meet the challenges, remain hopeful

A look at the forest sector in B.C. – and those hoping for the best – amid mill curtailments

Homemade explosives detonated in South Surrey

Police asking public for help identifying those responsible

Man suffers serious injuries in bear attack in remote area near Lillooet

It was deemed a defensive attack, no efforts were made to locate the animal

Parkinson SuperWalk goes virtual throughout B.C. due to COVID-19

People encouraged to walk around their neighbourhood, along community trails, through parks, forests

Missed rent payments because of COVID-19? You have until July 2021 to pay up

Each monthly instalment must be paid on the same date the rent is due

U.S.-Canada pandemic border restrictions extended into September

‘We will continue to keep our communities safe,’ says Public Safety Minister Bill Blair

578 British Columbians currently infected with COVID-19

Seventy-eight new cases confirmed in past 24 hours

WE Charity registers as lobbyist, lays off staff, looking to sell real estate

WE Charity said its financial position has been greatly affected by the COVID-19 pandemic

Conservation seizes fawn illegally kept captive in Vancouver Island home

A Comox Valley resident charged and fined under the Wildlife Act

Most Read