Pompeo: Every US strike on Iranian targets will adhere International Law
US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo claimed on Tuesday that every US strike on Iranian targets will be conducted inside the International Laws of War.His comment came as a response to a question on whether it is true US President Donald Trump's claim that the US will not hesitate to strike cultural areas.
Amid Iranian threats of retaliation over Iranian military commander Qassem Soleimani's killing, Trump tweeted over the weekend that the United States had targeted 52 Iranian sites, some "at a very high level & important to Iran & the Iranian culture" if Iran struck any American or American assets in retaliation.
"They're allowed to use roadside bombs and blow up our people and we're not allowed to touch their cultural sites? It doesn't work that way," Trump said on Sunday, speaking to reporters.After Pompeo's address, Trump told reporters that he would obey international law on avoiding targeting cultural sites in military attacks, walking back on his previous threat.In his speech, Pompeo also claimed that attacks planned by Soleimani, who was killed in a US drone attack last week, "were going to lead, potentially, to the death of many more Americans."
Pompeo made comment at a news conference where he was pressed on whether any such planned Iranian attacks were "imminent," the term that he had used on Friday, the day Soleimani was killed in Iraq.
"Is there any history that would indicate that it was remotely possible that this kind gentleman, this diplomat of great order - Qassem Soleimani - had traveled to Baghdad for the idea of conducting a peace mission?" he said. "We know that wasn't true."
Pompeo also held Soleimani responsible for a Dec. 27 rocket attack in Iraq in which a US civilian contractor was killed.
"He was continuing the terror campaign in the region. We know what happened ... in December, ultimately leading to the death of an American. So, if you are looking for imminence, you need look no further than the days that led up to the strike that was taken against Soleimani," Pompeo said.
"And then you in addition to that have what we could clearly see were continuing efforts on behalf of this terrorist to build out a network of campaign activities that were going to lead, potentially, to the death of many more Americans," he added.