Former US President Donald Trump claimed Israel helped plan the 2020 assassination of Quds Force commander Qassem Soleimani, but pulled out of the operation two days prior to the killing.
In an interview with Fox News, Trump said, “When we took out Soleimani, you know Israel was supposed to do it with us. Two days before the take-out, they said, ‘We can’t do it. We can’t do it.’ I said ‘What?’ ‘We can’t do it,'” the Republican presidential frontrunner added.
Despite Israel's withdrawal, Trump claimed he proceeded with the operation in Iraq after consulting with a general who affirmed the possibility of executing it independently. He was killed in a drone strike near Baghdad Airport.
The former president, currently vying for a new presidential term, also highlighted his administration's efforts in deterring attacks by Iranian militias on US forces in a veiled reference to the more than 160 attacks since October 7 alone, under Joe Biden.
Qassem Soleimani was instrumental in arming and training various armed groups across the Middle East as the head of Iran's proxy forces.
Following Soleimani's death, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu had commended Trump for the strike that eliminated the influential Iranian general in January 2020.
At the time, he said, “Trump is worthy of full appreciation for acting with determination, strongly and swiftly ... We stand fully by the United States in its just battle for security, peace, and self-defense.”