An American attack that killed one of Iran’s top military leaders will lead to “dead civilian Americans,” the former acting director of the CIA is warning.
Michael Morrell said in an interview with CBS This Morning that the American attack at the Baghdad airport that left Qassem Soleimani dead will lead to a deadly response from the Iranian government. While Morrell acknowledged that Soleimani was a ruthless military leader responsible for the deaths of many Americans, the former CIA director said his killing is sure to spark a wider conflict that will result in more American deaths.
“Soleimani was an evil genius, he had a lot of American blood on his hands. The world is a better place without him. The problem is that comes at a very high cost,” Morell said.
“Number one, there will be dead Americans, dead civilian Americans, as a result of this. Possibly over the next few days in any place where Iran has its proxies, Iraq is the most likely place, but also Lebanon, Bahrain, other places in the Middle East.”
Morrell is not alone in criticizing Donald Trump for what was seen as a hastily executed and poorly thought out attack. That was the criticism from former vice president and 2020 presidential candidate Joe Biden, who slammed Trump for an attack that will likely lead to more bloodshed and a widening conflict with Iran.
Others have attacked Trump for failing to notify Congress of the plans to attack Iran. Trump discussed the plans for the attack with South Carolina Senator Lindsey Graham, who traveled to Trump’s Mar-a-Lago resort over the weekend for a golf trip with the president, but did not notify House Speaker Nancy Pelosi or Minority Leader Chuck Schumer. Pelosi later criticized Trump for failing to seek congressional authorization for the military operation.
Trump may have discussed the attack with other allies, however. A report from the Times of Israel noted that U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo was believed to have briefed Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu ahead of the attack. On Thursday morning, before the attack, Netanyahu posted a tweet alluding to “very, very dramatic things” happening in the region.
After the attack against Iran, the U.S. military announced it would be sending an additional 3,500 troops to the Middle East, including some headed to Iraq, Kuwait, and other military outposts across the region. It was not clear if another attack was expected.