Secretary of Defense Mark Esper issued a Thursday evening press release claiming credit for killing Iranian General Qasem Suleimaniat the Baghdad airport in Iraq.
Suleimani was a revered figure in Iran and the country is expected to retaliate.
"At the direction of the President, the U.S. military has taken decisive defensive action to protect U.S. personnel abroad by killing Qasem Suleimani, the head of the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps-Quds Force, a U.S.-designated Foreign Terrorist Organization," the statement read.
CNN presidential historian Tim Naftali worried about Trump's approach.
"This statement is what you issue if you want Iran to respond violently to defend its prestige. Not a good strategy," Naftali said.
This statement is what you issue if you want Iran to respond violently to defend its prestige. Not a good strategy. https://t.co/928syQOrQo— Tim Naftali (@Tim Naftali)1578020687.0
U.S. killed high-profile commander of Iran’s secretive Quds Force, Department of Defense says in statement late Thu… https://t.co/EABegmPz9A— NBC News (@NBC News)1578020534.0