Trump officials are bending over backwards to say he didn’t threaten to commit a war crime after he repeatedly threatened to commit a war crime
- President Donald Trump announced on Twitter and to reporters that he would target and attack Iranian cultural sites if the country retaliated against the US for assassinating its top general, Qassem Soleimani.
- Deliberately targeting a cultural heritage site is a violation of international law and constitutes a war crime if carried out.
- But over the last two days, Trump’s advisers and cabinet officials have bent over backwards to argue that he didn’t threaten to commit a war crime, despite his public statements indicating the opposite.
- Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and counselor to the president Kellyanne Conway both contradicted themselves and Trump in recent days while defending his announcement.
- Meanwhile, CNN reported that multiple senior US officials are strongly opposed to what Trump suggested, with one official telling the outlet, “As a matter of principle, we as a nation and as a military do not attack the culture sites of any adversary.”
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President Donald Trump announced on Twitter over the weekend that if Iran retaliated against the US for assassinating its top military general, Qassem Soleimani, the US would respond by attacking 52 Iranian cultural sites VERY FAST AND VERY HARD”
After initially backing down from his comments following swift backlash and allegations that he was advocating for a war crime, Trump doubled down while speaking to reporters on Air Force One.
“They’re allowed to kill our people. They’re allowed to torture and maim our people. They’re allowed to use roadside bombs and blow up our people,” he said. “And we’re not allowed to touch their cultural site? It doesn’t work that way.”
Targeting cultural sites violates international law and multiple treaties.