President Donald Trump leveled new warnings to Iraq and Iran on Sunday in response to increased threats from Iran and in response to Iraq’s parliament voting to expel the U.S. military from its country.
“The nonbinding resolution – passed with the backing of Shiite politicians – urges Prime Minister Adel Abdul-Mahdi to rescind Iraq’s invitation to U.S. forces that helped rescue the country after Islamic State overran about one third of its territory in 2014,” The Wall Street Journal reported. “Mr. Abdul-Mahdi called on lawmakers to support the resolution, but it wasn’t clear how he would proceed. He resigned as prime minister last year and has since presided over a caretaker government.”
In remarks to reporters while on Air Force, Trump slammed Iraq over their vote, saying that if U.S. troops are forced to leave the country, he will hit Iraq with “very big” sanctions.
#BREAKING President Trump threatens "very big" sanctions on Iraq if US troops forced to leave pic.twitter.com/XohiVruZlC
— AFP news agency (@AFP) January 6, 2020
Trump also threatened Iran with “major retaliation” if they carried out any attacks in response to the U.S. military killing Iranian terrorist Qasem Soleimani.
The news comes as Iran has said that it has identified approximately 35 targets to hit in response to the U.S. killing their terrorist leader.
“Iran will punish Americans wherever they are within reach of the Islamic Republic in retaliation for the killing of miliary commander Qassem Soleimani, Tasnim news agency quoted a senior Revolutionary Guards commander as saying,” Reuters reported. “General Gholamali Abuhamzeh, the commander of the Guards in the southern province of Kerman, raised the prospect of possible attacks on ships in the Gulf.”
Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said on Sunday that it was “very clear” that the world was a “safer place” after the U.S. made the decision to remove Soleimani from “the planet.”
“You know the history: hundreds of thousands of people in Syria, millions of refugees, Lebanon, Beirut, Syria, Iraq, Yemen, death to Americans in Iraq in the earlier war,” Pompeo said. “This was a bad guy. We took him off the playing field, and that’s important because this was a fellow who was the glue, who was conducting active plotting against the United States of America – putting American lives at risk. President Trump made the right decision to stop Qassem Soleimani from the terror campaign that he’d been engaged in against America.”
In a separate interview on Sunday, Pompeo responded to concerns that Iran is going to respond to out of revenge.
“We continue to prepare for whatever it is the Iranian regime may put in front of us within the next 10 minutes, within the next 10 days, and within the next 10 weeks,” Pompeo said. “We are focused on delivering a strategy for the American people. We’re gonna get it right in a moment, but we’re more importantly going to get it right over the days and weeks and months ahead. We have put Iran in the position it has not been in before. It is under enormous pressure, and we are continuing to be successful at denying them the resources to conduct precisely the types of campaign that we’re confronting as a direct result of what happened over the past eight years before we came into office.”