President Trump backed away from further military conflict, citing minimal damage to American assets and no casualties after Iran’s retaliatory strikes on two bases housing troops in Iraq.
President Trump announced new economic sanctions against Tehran but did not call for more military action against the Iranians during his first formal public remarks about the conflict since ordering the drone strike of Iran’s most important general last week.
“The United States is ready to embrace peace with all who seek it,” Mr. Trump said.
Flanked by Vice President Mike Pence, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, Defense Secretary Mark T. Esper and other military officials, the president did little to explain his reasoning for ordering the death of Maj. Gen. Qassim Suleimani.
“He should have been terminated long ago,” Mr. Trump said.
Early Wednesday, the Iranians
retaliated by launching more than 20 ballistic missiles at two military bases in Iraq where Americans are posted. Mr. Trump said no Americans were killed.
The administration has cited vague intelligence threats against American interests to explain the decision to kill the Iranian general. But many have found its strategy and goals for Iran was conflicting and confusing. Mr. Trump was forced to walk back threats to target Iranian cultural sites after Mr. Esper made clear that such actions would be a war crime.