Why Donald Trump chose the most extreme option presented to him by his generals in dealing with Iran


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On Wednesday, a Ukrainian jetliner crashed in Iran, killing everyone aboard.

After maintaining for days that there was no evidence that one of its missiles had struck a Boeing 737-800 minutes after it took off from Tehran on Wednesday with 176 people on board, Iran admitted early on Saturday that its military had shot down the passenger jet by mistake.

Here is the sequence of events leading up to the missile attack that killed 56 Canadians: Donald Trump ordered the Pentagon to kill Maj. Gen. Qassim Soleimani, Iran’s top military leader. Iran, in turn, unleashed a barrage of missiles on Wednesday that seem to have taken no lives and appeared to have inflicted little damage on air bases in Asad and Erbil in Iraq that house thousands of Iraqi and American servicemen and women.

And then a few hours later, Iran tragically shot down a Ukrainian passenger plane mistaking it for an incoming American air attack.

Understanding why Trump ordered the killing of General Soleimani as opposed to other options to constrain Iran

While it is now clear what the sequence of events were that led led to the Iranian attack on the Ukrainian passenger jet, what is not clear is what led to Trump’s decision to assassinate Gen. Soleimani in the first place.