WATCH: Donald Trump gives speech addressing assassination of Qassem Suleimani
Donald Trump has addressed the airstrike.
Late on Thursday evening (2 January), news emerged that senior Iranian military general Qassem Suleimani had been killed in Baghdad, Iraq, as part of an American military airstrike.
The move has been seen as an escalation in tensions between the US and Iran, who have shared an enmity lasting decades. Several analysts believe the assassination could be a precursor to war between the two countries.
On Wednesday, Donald Trump gave an address, explaining the decision to assassinate a foreign military leader.
Speaking from his Mar-a-Lago resort in Florida rather than the White House, Trump said the Quds Force commander had been planning "imminent and sinister attacks on American diplomats and military personnel."
"Suleimani has been perpetrating acts of terror to destabilise the Middle East for the last 20 years. What the United States did yesterday should have been done long ago," Trump said.
Trump denied that the move was intended to precipitate a war, saying that the assassination was intended to "stop a war" rather than "start a war."
You can watch the full statement below.
— The White House (@WhiteHouse) January 3, 2020
Iran has threatened retaliation for the strike.