ASSASSINATION/IRAN/TRUMP AS PRESIDENT/WAR: “Trump says airstrike was ordered ‘to stop a war.’ President Trump said Friday afternoon that the airstrike that killed Maj. Gen. Qassim Suleimani, the powerful Iranian commander, was ordered ‘to stop a war’ and prevented attacks on Americans…Mr. Trump said the United States is not seeking regime change in Iran, but called for Tehran’s ‘aggression in the region’ to immediately end. He also warned Iran against retaliating, saying, “If Americans anywhere are threatened, we have all of those targets already fully identified, and I am ready and prepared to take whatever action is necessary’…The airstrike directed by Mr. Trump dramatically ratcheted up tensions between Washington and Tehran, and Iran’s leaders quickly promised retaliation for the general’s killing. Around the time of the overnight strike, a Special Operations unit based in the United States boarded transport aircraft bound for the Middle East, one Defense Department official said.”

NYT Staff, “The Killing of Gen. Qassim Suleimani: What We Know Since the U.S. Airstrike,” The New York Times online, January 2, 2020