Qasem Soleimani: Trump says US killed 'a monster'

Media captionTrump: “We’ll obey the law on cultural sites – we will be gentle”

President Donald Trump has said the US killing of Iranian commander Qasem Soleimani saved a lot of lives, calling him a “monster”.

Mr Trump said Soleimani “was planning a big attack” when he was killed in a US drone strike in Baghdad last Friday.

But Mr Trump appeared to draw back from a threat to target Iran’s cultural sites should Tehran respond militarily.

Soleimani was buried in Iran on Tuesday, but a stampede at the funeral killed 50 people and injured 200 more.

In remarks at the Oval Office, President Trump also addressed the issue of Iraq, saying a US withdrawal of troops would be the worst thing for the country.

His comments came in the wake of a letter, which the US military said had been sent in error, to Iraq’s prime minister, apparently agreeing to a request by Iraqi MPs to pull troops out.

Soleimani’s killing has raised fears of a conflict between the US and Iran.

What are Mr Trump’s latest comments?

The president strongly defended the US drone strike, saying it was a case of retaliation.

“He was a monster. And he’s no longer a monster. He’s dead,” Mr Trump said. “He was planning a big attack and bad attack for us. I don’t think anyone can complain about it.”

The president said Soleimani had been “travelling with the head of Hezbollah” and a “lot of lives had been saved…

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