Trump touts US military strength in warning to Iran

Trump touts US military strength in warning to Iran
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President TrumpDonald John TrumpFederal prosecutor speaks out, says Barr 'has brought shame' on Justice Dept. Former Pence aide: White House staffers discussed Trump refusing to leave office Progressive group buys domain name of Trump's No. 1 Supreme Court pick MORE early Sunday touted U.S. military strength in a tweet warning Iran against retaliation for the death of Gen. Qassem Soleimani, a top commander, in a U.S. drone strike.

“The United States just spent Two Trillion Dollars on Military Equipment. We are the biggest and by far the BEST in the World! If Iran attacks an American Base, or any American, we will be sending some of that brand new beautiful equipment their way...and without hesitation!” he tweeted.

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Trump in a separate tweet said that Iran would be hit "harder than they have ever been hit before" if it attacks.

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The warnings came as Soleimani's body was returned to Iran, where thousands of mourners turned out for a funeral procession.

Trump on Thursday approved an operation that killed the prominent Iranian military leader in Baghdad. U.S. officials have asserted there was evidence Soleimani was planning attacks that would put American lives in danger.

Trump late Saturday also warned that 52 Iranian sites have been targeted for attack if Tehran strikes any Americans or American assets. Trump said the 52 sites were meant to represent the number of Americans held during the Iran hostage crisis.

"Iran has been nothing but problems for many years," Trump tweeted. "Let this serve as a WARNING that if Iran strikes any Americans, or American assets, we have targeted 52 Iranian sites... some at a very high level & important to Iran & the Iranian culture, and those targets, and Iran itself, WILL BE HIT VERY FAST AND VERY HARD. The USA wants no more threats!"

His tweet came shortly after Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei vowed a "harsh retaliation" against the U.S. A senior Iranian commander, meanwhile, said Tehran had identified “vital American targets,” including “some 35 U.S. targets in the region as well as Tel Aviv” that he said were within reach.

CNN reported on Sunday that Khamenei’s military adviser said Tehran’s response to Soleimani’s killing would be “against military sites.”

Trump late Saturday also offered additional defense for approving the strike that killed Soleimani, a high-ranking Iranian official and the head of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps's Quds Force, describing him as a "terrorist leader" responsible for the deaths of many Americans.

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

This report was updated at 8:15 a.m.