Trump threatens to destroy 52 Iranian locations including cultural sites if Iran retaliates

U.S. President Donald Trump answers questions from reporters after making a video call to the troops stationed worldwide at the Mar-a-Lago estate in Palm Beach Florida, on Dec. 24, 2019. (Photo by NICHOLAS KAMM/AFP via Getty Images)

President Trump threatened to target and destroy 52 locations in Iran including cultural sites if the country tried to retaliate for the death of Iranian Gen. Qassem Soleimani.

Soleimani was the head of Iran's elite Quds Force and has been blamed for attacks on U.S. troops and American allies going back decades. He was killed by a U.S. drone strike on Friday.

On Saturday, Trump tweeted "Let this serve as a WARNING that if Iran strikes any Americans, or American assets, we have targeted 52 Iranian sites (representing the 52 American hostages taken by Iran many years ago), some at a very high level & important to Iran & the Iranian culture, and those targets, and Iran itself, WILL BE HIT VERY FAST AND VERY HARD. The USA wants no more threats!"

About 3,500 U.S. soldiers are currently being reployed to the region.