As the world watches and waits for potential retaliatory action by Iran after their top military commander, General Qassem Soleimani, was killed by an American drone strike on Thursday evening, one Iranian military leader went on record, saying that 35 potential American targets are on their radar.
According to The Washington Examiner, Gen. Gholamali Abuhamzeh, who commands the Islamic Revolutionary Guard in the southern province of Kerman, Iran, warned that targets in a key shipping area have been on their list for some time and suggested that they could be in danger of a retaliatory strike.
“The Strait of Hormuz is a vital point for the West, and a large number of American destroyers and warships cross there,” Abuhamzeh said. “Vital American targets in the region have been identified by Iran since long time ago.”
Abuhamzeh’s suggestion that the highly trafficked shipping and trade channel could be under threat comes on the heels of Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei making headlines after he announced “revenge awaits” the U.S. for their surprise drone strike.
Chants of “Death to America!” were prevalent over the weekend, as a large number of sympathizers gathered in the streets to mourn the loss of Soleimani and several other Iranian military leaders who were killed in the strike.
Iran’s Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei says Qassim Soleimani's killing will double the motivation of resistance against US & Israel. Harsh revenge awaits 'criminals' who killed Qassim Soleimani pic.twitter.com/urp2AkUAZS— CNBC-TV18 (@CNBCTV18Live) January 3, 2020
On Saturday afternoon, President Donald Trump seemingly offered a counter-threat to Iran in a lengthy social media post in which he defended his decision to call in the drone strike, emphasizing the level of danger that the “terrorist leader” posed to the U.S. and its allies, while also charging Iran with causing problems for the U.S. in past years.
Trump also sent a stark warning to Iran’s leadership in the same message, claiming that if any U.S. personnel or assets were targeted by Iran in the coming days, that the United States has already pre-designated a long list of strategic targets it will likely hit in response.
“Let this serve as a WARNING that if Iran strikes any Americans, or American assets, we have targeted 52 Iranian sites (representing the 52 American hostages taken by Iran many years ago), some at a very high level & important to Iran & the Iranian culture, and those targets, and Iran itself, WILL BE HIT VERY FAST AND VERY HARD,” Trump’s Facebook post read, in part.
Trump’s strong words for Iran also come on the heels of several troop deployments from the U.S. Army’s 82nd Airborne Division. As previously reported by The Inquisitr, some 3,350 U.S. troops were alerted for deployment to the region, following an initial round of 750.