Trump Orders Drone Strike on Iran General

As the new year began, President Trump ordered an attack on General Qassem Suleimani on January 3rd at the Baghdad Airport in Iraq. The drone strike killing the Iranian general did not have congressional approval.

Before this strike there was an attack on the U.S. Embassy in Iraq. On December 31st the embassy was stormed by protesters enraged at the airstrikes that the U.S. made against Iraq on December 27th. There demonstrators were Iran-backed paramilitary groups and were holding up yellow flags with an image of an AK-47. This airstrike killed at least 25 Iranian fighters. On the second day, January 1st, the protesters withdrew from the embassy. Trump blamed Iran for orchestrating the demonstration, tweeting, “Iran is orchestrating an attack on the U.S. Embassy.” This led to Trump’s final order to assassinate the Iran general.

Then on January 2nd the U.S. Defense Department issued a warning saying that the United States might have to take action in order to protect American lives from expected Iranian attacks. The very next day, Trump ordered a drone strike against Suleimani and had troops readied. Trump defended his order to attack premised on the belief that Suleimani was planning an attack and his death would save a lot of lives. The American drone was able to attack two cars at the Baghdad International Airport in Iraq. Suleimani and several Iranian officials were killed outside of their own country’s borders. The general’s death led to an increase in tension between the United States and Iran because this general had great influence in his country. He was viewed as a powerful figure who was in control of Iranian intelligence. Suleimani had a close relationship with Iran’s supreme leader, Sayyid Ali Hosseini Khamenei.

The general’s death greatly impacted Iran and the Iran ambassador, Majid Takht Ravanchi, pledged “harsh revenge.” During General Suleimani’s funeral a stampede led to the deaths of 56 people and more than 200 injured, according to Iranian news. Those attending were ready to take revenge. As Major General Hossein Salami stated, “We will take revenge, a revenge that will be tough, strong, decisive and finishing and will make them regret.” The following Tuesday Iran retaliated for their general’s death and fired over a dozen ballistic missiles attacking two Iraqi military bases that stationed American troops. Later on that day, Trump responded by saying, “All is well!”

Unlike Trump, these strikes raised people’s fears. Americans started to think about the possibility of a World World III. Americans starting speculating that a draft was going to be implemented. As people were fearing the worst, Trump tweeted, “If they do attack again, which I would not advise them to do, we will hit them back harder than they have ever been hit before!” Trump mentioned 52 potential targets in Iran that the U.S. would attack if Iran retaliated for the drone strike. Trump mentioned that these sites were “very high level and important to Iran and the Iranian culture.” Striking cultural sites is seen as a war crime, so the Pentagon decided to prohibit these attacks.

As Trump tweeted about attacking Iran with the United States’ best weapons, Americans were worried about a draft occuring. Even though a draft can happen, the possibility of it happening soon is very small. Currently, Iran has declared that it will not follow the agreement of its nuclear deal which limited Iranian nuclear activities and allowed international inspectors. The Iraq parliament voted to expel all US forces from their country yet Trump said that he will not order American military forces to withdraw. As Eric Edelman, a former ambassador, explained, “But they will be patient. When their nose is bloodied, they tend to take a step back and reassess, before making the next move.” People are now waiting to see Iran’s next move.

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