US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has told CNN the US government made an “intelligence-based assessment” to justify launching an air strike against Qasem Soleimani, and that the Iranian commander was “working actively” on an imminent attack in the region.
The decision to launch the air strike “saved American lives,” Pompeo told CNN’s New Day. “Dozens, if not hundreds” of American lives were at risk from “imminent” attacks in which Soleimani was involved, he said.
“These were threats that were located in the region,” Pompeo added when asked if the US homeland was at risk.
He did not divulge details of the imminent attack, but said the Trump administration would “do our best” to release intelligence information in coming days.
Pompeo was pressed on comments by foreign politicians including the France’s minister of state for Europe, who said the attack had made the world more dangerous. “The French are just wrong about that,” Pompeo said. “The world is a much safer place today.”