U.S. President Donald Trump has called Qassem Soleimani a “son of a bitch” in his latest round of fierce criticism of the Iranian general he had assassinated earlier this month.
Trump told a rally in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, on Tuesday that there were many “young men and women walking around with out arms and without legs” because of Soleimani.
“Great percentages of people don’t have legs right now and arms because of this son of a bitch,” Trump said, adding that “he should have been killed 20 years ago.”
Trump was this week forced to defend the targeted killing of Soleimani after critics questioned the “imminent” nature of the threat the president said justified the move.
Washington credits the general with orchestrating the killing of hundreds of U.S. soldiers in Iraq.
Trump’s administration has also been criticized over conflicting statements on the rationale behind the killing. Defence Secretary Mark Esper on Sunday said he never saw evidence that Iran was planning an attack on four U.S. embassies, as Trump had claimed two days earlier.
Republicans have used the strike on Soleimani to defend Trump as taking action against enemies while Democrats try to remove him from office as impeachment proceedings move forward.
Iran retaliated against the Soleimani attack by firing ballistic missiles at an Iraqi base housing U.S. forces.
No one was harmed in the strike and Trump has since ordered additional sanctions on Iran, instead of striking back, in what has been taken as a de-escalation of tensions.