Courtesy of JTA  Kashmiri Shiite Muslims carry pictures of killed Iranian general Qassem Soleimani as they march during an anti-American protest in central Kashmir, Jan. 3, 2020.

Courtesy of JTA 

Kashmiri Shiite Muslims carry pictures of killed Iranian general Qassem Soleimani as they march during an anti-American protest in central Kashmir, Jan. 3, 2020. 

 

(JTA) — President Donald Trump said the United States will hit dozens of Iranian sites “very fast and very hard” if Iran strikes any American assets in response to the assassination of top Iranian general Qassem Soleimani.

Trump tweeted January 4th that the U.S. military has targeted 52 Iranian sites representing the 52 American hostages taken by Iran in November 1979 and held for 444 days. The targeted sites, the tweet says, are “very high level & important to Iran & the Iranian culture.”

Also on January 4th, U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo spoke by telephone with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, according to the White House.  They discussed “the situation in Iraq as well as Iran’s continued provocations and threats to the region.  The Secretary underscored the Trump Administration’s resolve in protecting American interests, personnel, facilities and partners,” White House spokesperson Morgan Ortagus said in a statement.

A U.S. airstrike authorized by Trump early on Friday killed Soleimani, the head of the Iranian Quds Force, which operates a number of regional militias and is allied with terrorist groups targeting Israel, including Hezbollah and Hamas.

Iran has promised “harsh revenge” for the killing.

Netanyahu said Sunday morning at the weekly Cabinet meeting: “President Trump is deserving of all esteem for taking determined, strong and quick action. I would like to reiterate – Israel fully stands alongside the US in the just struggle for security, peace and self-defense.”

Israel has taken some precautions amid fears of being targeted by Iran for a revenge attack.

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