Trump Describes Iranian Missile Attack as ‘Standing Down’

WASHINGTON, DC - JANUARY 08: U.S. President Donald Trump speaks from the White House on January 08, 2020 in Washington, DC. During his remarks, Trump addressed the Iranian missile attacks that took place last night in Iraq and said, ‚ÄúAs long as I am president of the United States, Iran …

President Donald Trump described Iran’s attack on Iraqi bases hosting U.S. troops Tuesday night, in which there were 15 missiles fired but no American casualties, as a decision by Iran to stand down.

The unusual description of a military operation both explained the Iranian regime’s apparent decision not to strike American targets directly, and the Trump administration’s decision not to retaliate again.

Trump said:

I’m pleased to inform you: The American people should be extremely grateful and happy no Americans were harmed in last night’s attack by the Iranian regime. We suffered no casualties, all of our soldiers are safe, and only minimal damage was sustained at our military bases.

Our great American forces are prepared for anything. Iran appears to be standing down, which is a good thing for all parties concerned and a very good thing for the world.

Trump recounted that the U.S. had eliminated Iranian General Qasem Soleimani, the leader of the terrorist Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) Quds Force, essentially without cost. “As the head of the Quds Force, Soleimani was personally responsible for some of the absolutely worst atrocities,” Trump explained. He added:

He trained terrorist armies, including Hezbollah, launching terrorist strikes against civilian targets. He fueled bloody civil wars all across the region. He viciously wounded and murdered thousands of U.S. troops, including the planting of roadside bombs that maim and dismember their victims.

Soleimani directed the recent attacks on U.S. personnel in Iraq that badly wounded four service members and killed one American, and he orchestrated the violent assault on the U.S. embassy in Baghdad. In recent days, he was planning new attacks on American targets, but we stopped him.

Soleimani’s hands were drenched in both American and Iranian blood. He should have been terminated long ago. By removing Soleimani, we have sent a powerful message to terrorists: If you value your own life, you will not threaten the lives of our people.

While announcing immediate “punishing” sanctions, the president also said that the door was now open to negotiations — “toward making a deal with Iran that makes the world a safer and more peaceful place. We must also make a deal that allows Iran to thrive and prosper, and take advantage of its enormous untapped potential. Iran can be a great country.”

Trump noted that the U.S. is not only the strongest nation in the world, but that it is developing even greater military power. But he concluded with a message “to the people and leaders of Iran: We want you to have a future and a great future — one that you deserve, one of prosperity at home, and harmony with the nations of the world. The United States is ready to embrace peace with all who seek it.”

Joel B. Pollak is Senior Editor-at-Large at Breitbart News. He earned an A.B. in Social Studies and Environmental Science and Public Policy from Harvard College, and a J.D. from Harvard Law School. He is a winner of the 2018 Robert Novak Journalism Alumni Fellowship. He is also the co-author of How Trump Won: The Inside Story of a Revolution, which is available from Regnery. Follow him on Twitter at @joelpollak.

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