President Donald Trump said that the United States is targeting dozens of Iranian sites and will hit them “very fast and very hard” if Iran strikes any Americans or American assets in response to the assassination of top Iranian general Qassem Soleimani.
Trump tweeted Saturday night that the U.S. military has targeted 52 Iranian sites, which he says represents the 52 American hostages taken by Iran in November 1979 and held for 444 days. The targeted sites, the tweet says, are “very high level & important to Iran & the Iranian culture.”
Also on Saturday, U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo spoke by telephone with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, according to the White House. They discussed “the situation in Iraq as well as Iran’s continued provocations and threats to the region. The Secretary underscored the Trump Administration’s resolve in protecting American interests, personnel, facilities and partners,” White House spokesperson Morgan Ortagus said in a statement.
A U.S. airstrike authorised by Trump early on Friday killed Qassem Soleimani, the head of the Iranian Quds Force, which operates a number of regional militias and is allied with terrorist groups targeting Israel, including Hezbollah and Hamas.
Iran has promised “harsh revenge” for the U.S. drone strike Friday that killed Soleimani in Iraq while riding in a vehicle near Baghdad International Airport.
Netanyahu said Sunday morning at the weekly Cabinet meeting: “President Trump is deserving of all esteem for taking determined, strong and quick action. I would like to reiterate – Israel fully stands alongside the US in the just struggle for security, peace and self-defence.”
Israel has taken some precautions amid fears of being targeted by Iran for a revenge attack.
Iran is talking very boldly about targeting certain USA assets as revenge for our ridding the world of their terrorist leader who had just killed an American, & badly wounded many others, not to mention all of the people he had killed over his lifetime, including recently….
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) January 4, 2020