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Trump Says Soleimani Was Plotting Attacks on U.S. Diplomats

Josh Wingrove

(Bloomberg) -- Donald Trump called the Iranian general killed in a U.S. airstrike outside Baghdad’s airport the “number one terrorist” in the world and said he was planning attacks against U.S. diplomats and service members.

“Last night at my direction the United States military successfully executed a flawless precision strike that killed the number one terrorist anywhere in the world,” Trump said Friday in a statement at his Mar-a-Lago resort in Palm Beach, Florida.

Qassem Soleimani died along with a local Iraqi militia leader in the strike, which followed attacks on a U.S. military base in Iraq and the U.S. embassy in Baghdad by forces the U.S. says were directed by Iran. Soleimani had been planning “imminent and sinister attacks on American diplomats and military personnel,” Trump said.

“We caught him in the act and terminated him,” he said.

He said the U.S. doesn’t seek war with Iran.

“We took action last night to stop a war,” Trump said. “We did not take action to start a war.”

To contact the reporter on this story: Josh Wingrove in Washington at jwingrove4@bloomberg.net

To contact the editors responsible for this story: Alex Wayne at awayne3@bloomberg.net, Kevin Whitelaw

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