In early January a United States contractor was killed in an Iranian proxy attack in Iran. Seven months prior, President Trump had agreed to authorize the killing of Iranian General Qassem Soleimani if Iran’s aggression resulted in the death of any Americans. Due to this earlier authorization statement, the option of assassinating Soleimani was brought up to Trump, after the death of the American contractor, and he agreed. On January 2nd, a United States drone strike killed the Iranian general, the justification being he was “planning imminent attacks against the US and had to be stopped,” (NBC News). As of now, the real reasoning behind the attack is unknown, but the attack did have quick ramifications regardless of intention.
On January 7, after Soleimani’s death Iran forces fired twenty-two missiles on two US bases in Iraq. No US troops were harmed, which analysts have determined to be intentional: Iran did not want to create larger conflict, instead just demonstrating their outrage at the situation.
After these attacks Trump met with members of his cabinet to discuss possible retaliation techniques. After the meeting, Trump responded via Twitter in a relatively upbeat attempt of calming the American people. He wrote, “All is well! Missiles launched from Iran at two military bases located in Iraq. Assessment of casualties & damages taking place now. So far so good!” He then continued with, “We have the most powerful and well equipped military anywhere in the world, by far!” Although Trump said all was well to the Americans at home, troops in Iran were told to be prepared for further physical or cyber attacks from Iran.
These actions have raised eyebrows stateside due to their interesting timing. All of this has come to light while Trump is in the process of being removed by the Senate after being impeached by the House of Representatives on December 18, 2019. Many people have pointed fingers at the President, saying that these actions and his responses are just in an effort to divert attention from impeachment, by rapidly rising military tensions in Iran.
By Eliana Sauer