Report: Of All Options Offered To Him Against Iran, Trump Chose The Riskiest One

Darren.Woon

Trump chose Pentagon officials' most extreme option to kill Gen. Qassem Soleimani, rather than considering alternatives.

In the days leading up to the death of Maj. Gen. Qassem Soleimani, Iran’s most powerful military figure, U.S. officials had presented the option of killing him to President Trump, but viewed the plan as the most extreme response to recent Iranian-led violence in Iraq, according to The New York Times

Pentagon officials typically offer improbable options to presidents in order to make other possibilities seem more palatable. However, following the Iranian-backed attacks on the American Embassy in Baghdad, Trump stunned Pentagon officials and ordered the extreme option be carried out.

President Trump made the decision amidst disputes in the administration about the significance of new intelligence. Some believed that General Soleimani was planning an “imminent” attack that could claim hundreds of lives while some argued that Dec. 30 was “a normal Monday in the Middle East,” and that the general’s travels were “business as usual.”

Tens of thousands of pro-Iranian fighters marched through the streets of Baghdad on Saturday in response to Soleimani’s death, calling for the removal of the U.S.’s presence in the country.

Iran’s supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Kahmenei, vowed “forceful revenge.” Iranian ballistic missile units across the country have been detected to have gone to a heightened state of readiness. 

Approximately 3,500 service members at Fort Bragg, N.C., are bound for the Middle East, one of the largest rapid deployments in decades. 

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