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Soleimani was plotting coup in Iraq - U.S. Senator Rubio

FILE PHOTO: Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL) speaks to reporters before attending the weekly Senate Republican luncheon, on Capitol Hill in Washington, U.S., October 22, 2019. REUTERS/Tom Brenner/File Photo

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. Republican Senator Marco Rubio on Friday defended President Donald Trump’s decision to kill top Iranian commander Qassem Soleimani, saying on Twitter that the military leader had been attempting to take control of Iraq and use it as a platform to attack the United States.

“At the direction of Iran’s Supreme Leader, Soleimani was plotting a coup in Iraq,” Rubio wrote on Twitter, without citing sources. “He was corrupting/threatening politicians, exploiting Iraq’s resources & bringing a large military force loyal to him, in an effort to make Iraq a platform to attack the U.S. & our allies.”

Reporting by Lisa Lambert; Editing by Chizu Nomiyama