Donald Trump threatens "major retaliation" if Iran avenges murder of top general
"If it happens, it happens. If they do anything, there will be major retaliation."
US President Donald Trump has doubled down on his claim that he would target Iranian cultural sites if Iran retaliated against the US for killing one of their top generals.
He also threatened "very big sanctions" on Iraq if American troops are forced to leave the country.
This comes after the Iraqi parliament passed a resolution Sunday calling on the government to expel US troops from the country in response to the killing of Iranian General Qassem Soleimani and the leader of an Iraqi militia at Baghdad Airport last week.
On Saturday, the US President wrote on social media saying the US has “targeted 52 Iranian sites ... some at a very high level & important to Iran & Iranian culture, and those targets, and Iran itself, WILL BE HIT VERY FAST AND VERY HARD.”
International conventions signed in Geneva and at the Hague prohibit the targeting of cultural sites.
US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, when asked if retaliation against US citizens should be expected, said: “It may be that there’s a little noise here in the interim.”
He also rolled back on Trump's tweets, saying any military engagement with Iran would be done within the confines of international law.
But speaking on Air Force One on Sunday (via The New York Times), Trump contradicted Pompeo and doubled down on his claim despite it being considered a war crime under international law.
"They’re allowed to kill our people. They’re allowed to torture and maim our people. They’re allowed to use roadside bombs and blow up our people,” he said.
“And we’re not allowed to touch their cultural site? It doesn’t work that way.”
When asked about Iran's vows to avenge the murder of Soleimani, the president simply said: “If it happens it happens. If they do anything, there will be major retaliation.”