Pompeo: Qassem Soleimani was eliminated due to threat of 'an imminent attack'

Watch: US Sec. of State Pompeo says Qassem Soleimani was planning 'imminent attack,' strike aimed to 'disrupt plot,' and 'deter aggression.'

Arutz Sheva Staff, | updated: 15:30

Mike Pompeo
Mike Pompeo
Reuters

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo spoke Friday about the elimination of Iranian Quds commander Qassem Soleimani.

In an interview with Fox News, Pompeo said that US President Donald Trump "made the decision, a serious decision, which was necessary."

"There was an imminent attack, the orchestrater, the primary motivator for the attack was Qassem Soleimani." The attack, he said, was "an attempt to disrupt that plot."

Pompeo also noted that Soleimani has "hundreds of American lives' blood on his hands, but what was sitting before us was his travels throughout the region, his efforts to make a significant strike against Americans."

"There would've been many Muslims killed as well - Iraqis, people in other countries as well," he emphasized. "It was a strike that was aimed at both disrupting that plot and deterring further aggression, [and] we hope setting the conditions for de-escalation as well."

In the past few months, there were "dozens and dozens of attacks against American and allied interests throughout the region, by Iran and its proxies, culminating in what happened with an American killed on December 27...there've been a series of actions and we've watched that escalation take place."

Pompeo also praised "the restraint that President Trump had shown," saying it "was important" but that it came time "to take action to restore deterrence."

"The men and women who are on the ground there today - we take seriously the need for their security, we're working on it, and we've been planning for this and we're prepared," he promised, adding that the US does not seek war with Iran, nor is it looking to escalation tensions.

He refused to confirm deaths other than that of Soleimani.




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