In more news from the Middle East, President Trump admitted Tuesday he wanted to assassinate Syrian President Bashar al-Assad in 2017 but did not go ahead due to opposition from then-Defense Secretary James Mattis. Trump made the admission on Fox News.
President Donald Trump: “I had a shot to take him out if I wanted, and Mattis was against it. Mattis was against most of that stuff. He’d keep you in military, but he didn’t know how to win.”
Investigative journalist Bob Woodward first reported on the assassination plan in 2018, but Trump claimed at the time the story was false.
This comes as fallout continues from the U.S. assassination of Iranian General Qassem Soleimani earlier this year in Iraq. Unnamed U.S. officials recently told Politico that the Iranian government is weighing an assassination attempt against the U.S. ambassador to South Africa in retaliation. Iran has denied the claim. On Monday, Trump warned Iran that if it took such action, the U.S. response will be “1,000 times greater in magnitude!”