Inside the months-long push to kill Soleimani
Secretary of State Mike Pompeo first approached President Trump about killing Iran’s Maj. Gen. Qasem Soleimani months ago.
Trump’s initial reticence changed in December, when rockets hit a joint U.S.-Iraqi base and killed an American civilian contractor. And the greenlighting of a responding airstrike on the powerful Iranian military commander represents a bureaucratic victory for Pompeo, says national security reporter Shane Harris.
- Killing of Soleimani follows long push from Pompeo for aggressive action against Iran, but airstrike brings serious risks
- Pompeo dismisses Iraqi leader’s call for all foreign troops to leave
Trump threatens Iran and Iraq in increasingly aggressive tweets
Since Soleimani’s death, the president has sworn to attack Iranian cultural sites in response to any Iranian military aggression against the United States — a potential war crime under international law.
Threats leveraged by Trump against Iraq — whose parliament tried to expel all foreign troops on Sunday — have also forced the world to monitor fallout from last week’s drone strike.
“It’s just an example of Trump reacting day to day to this situation with Iran, without any regard for conventions or policy or norms or even international law,” says The Post’s White House bureau chief, Phil Rucker.
- Pentagon orders amphibious force to prepare to support Mideast operations as Iran holds massive funeral for slain commander
- Trump threatens to strike Iranian cultural sites and impose ‘very big’ sanctions on Iraq
- Iran announces it is suspending its commitments to the 2015 nuclear deal
Venezuela’s last democratic institution falls
On Sunday, Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro attempted to take control of the country’s National Assembly by locking opposition leader Juan Guaidó out of the building and swearing in another politician.
“The outcome now is very messy,” South America correspondent Anthony Faiola says. “But for the international community, I think it's clear that for the moment, they still recognize Guido [as] the legitimate head of the National Assembly.“
- Venezuela’s last democratic institution falls as Maduro attempts de facto takeover of National Assembly
- Juan Guaidó promised to save Venezuela. Now the flame he lit is petering out, and his U.S. backers are weighing their options.
On Thursday’s episode of Post Reports, we said that Anthony Rendon signed with the Los Angeles Dodgers. Rendon did not sign with the Dodgers — he signed with the Los Angeles Angels.
Also Thursday, we said a lot of birds have gone extinct. This is more accurate: There are 29 percent fewer birds in the United States and Canada today than there were 50 years ago.
Missy Ryan examines the fallout of a U.S. airstrike that killed Iranian military commander Qasem Soleimani. Plus, Sebastian Smee describes the stunning photo that changed how we see our planet.
Friday, January 3, 2020
Mike DeBonis explains the impeachment trial’s delay. Liz Sly unravels the fraught history of U.S.-Iraq relations. And Kayla Epstein assuages young people’s concerns about the draft.
Tuesday, January 7, 2020