President TrumpDonald TrumpGraham says he hopes that Trump runs again Trump says Stacey Abrams 'might be better than existing governor' Kemp Executive privilege fight poses hurdles for Trump MORE tweeted Friday that Iran “never won a war, but never lost a negotiation” hours after the Pentagon confirmed that he ordered an airstrike that killed a top Iranian commander in Iraq.
Trump, who has yet to publicly address the details of the actual decision, sent the tweet early Friday morning after retweeting a number of messages about the strike, including a State Department travel advisory urging American citizens to leave Iraq immediately due to heightened tensions in the region.
“Iran never won a war, but never lost a negotiation!” Trump wrote.
Iran never won a war, but never lost a negotiation!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) January 3, 2020
It was not immediately clear if Trump would further clarify the message or whether he plans to address the strike in an extended fashion at some point in the near future. The White House has remained relatively silent on the strike beyond sharing the statement from the Pentagon describing it as “decisive defensive action to protect U.S. personnel abroad.”
Trump tweeted an image of the American flag with no text shortly before the Pentagon announcement late Thursday and following reports that an airstrike had killed Maj. Gen. Qassem Soleimani, the head of the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps' Quds Force.
Trump has earned praise from Republicans for authorizing the strike against Soleimani, who is believed to have been responsible for the deaths of hundreds of American soldiers over the years.
Trump’s decision marked a major escalation in his confrontation with Tehran.
Democrats have warned of destabilizing consequences of the move while criticizing the administration for failing to properly notify Congress. By Friday morning, Iran was promising a “harsh retaliation.”
Tensions in the region have spiked in recent days after a rocket attack killed an American contractor in Iraq on Dec. 27. Washington has blamed Iran for the attack.
“General Soleimani was actively developing plans to attack American diplomats and service members in Iraq and throughout the region,” the Pentagon said in a statement late Thursday.
“This strike was aimed at deterring future Iranian attack plans. The United States will continue to take all necessary action to protect our people and our interests wherever they are around the world,” the Pentagon said.
Secretary of State Mike PompeoMike PompeoRepublican lawmakers raise security, privacy concerns over Huawei cloud services WashPost fact-checker gives Pompeo four 'Pinocchios' for 'zombie' claim about Obama Iran deal Poll: Biden, Trump statistically tied in favorability MORE held a number of calls with foreign counterparts, including those in the United Kingdom and China, early Friday to discuss the developments and state that the U.S. “remains committed to de-escalation,” according to the State Department.
Updated at 8:29 a.m.