January 3, 2020 / 8:35 PM / 20 days ago

Trump says ordered killing of Iranian general to prevent war, not start one

U.S. President Donald Trump delivers remarks following the U.S. Military airstrike against Iranian General Qassem Soleimani in Baghdad, Iraq, in West Palm Beach, Florida, U.S., January 3, 2020. REUTERS/Tom Brenner

PALM BEACH, Fla. (Reuters) - President Donald Trump said on Friday he ordered the killing of Qassem Soleimani to stop a war, not start one, saying the Iranian military commander was planning imminent attacks on Americans.

“Soleimani was plotting imminent and sinister attacks on American diplomats and military personnel but we caught him in the act and terminated him,” Trump told reporters at his Mar-a-Lago resort.

“We took action last night to stop a war. We did not take action to start a war,” Trump said, adding that the United States does not seek regime change in Iran.

Reporting by Jeff Mason; writing by Eric Beech; editing by Tim Ahmann

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