WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Qassem Soleimani, Tehran’s most prominent military commander, was planning imminent attacks on U.S. diplomats and armed forces in Iraq, Lebanon, Syria and elsewhere in the Middle East, a senior Trump administration official said on Friday.
“This was a defensive strike, that was taken, and supported by very solid intelligence … This was strongly supported by everything that we were seeing that Soleimani was planning imminent attacks against American diplomats and armed forces members in Iraq, Lebanon, Syria, and in the region,” the official told reporters on condition of anonymity.
“This was an action taken in self defense, and the United States has the inherent right to defend itself, if it is faced with an attack.”
Reporting By Arshad Mohammed, David Brunnstrom and Daphne Psaledakis; Editing by Chris Reese
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