Trump defends killing Iranian general as US sends 3,500 extra troops to Middle East

Donald Trump has defended the assassination of a top Iranian general by US forces, tweeting that “he should have been taken out many years ago”.

Major General Qassem Soleimani was killed in a drone strike on Baghdad airport on Friday morning, marking a dramatic escalation of tensions with Tehran.

Iran immediately threatened a “crushing revenge” for the assassination in Iraq of Maj Gen Soleimani, the head of Iran’s elite Quds Force and spearhead of Iran’s spreading military influence in the Middle East.

NBC and other US media are reporting that the US is sending 3,500 additional troops to the region to bolster security – though military sources are quoted as saying this was a planned deployment, not a reaction to Friday’s escalation.

Some of the troops will be based in Iraq, and others will arrive in Kuwait and other parts of the region.

Mark Gibson

Graduates in Northwestern University, Evanston, Illinois 1990. Move to Los Angeles California in 2004. Specialized in Internet journalism.

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