In addition to being a fairly blatant example of wagging the f%$#ing dog, it's also calculated to escalate the situation.
Additionally, it has already generated greater solidarity in Iran:
This is batsh%$ insane:
The White House said Donald Trump ordered an air strike that killed powerful Iranian general Qassem Suleimani in Baghdad in the early hours of Friday, in a dramatic escalation of an already bloody struggle between Washington and Tehran for influence across the region.
Suleimani, who ran Iranian military operations in Iraq and Syria, was targeted while being driven from Baghdad airport by local allies from the Popular Mobilisation Units (PMU). The deputy head of the PMU, Abu Mahdi al-Muhandes, a close Suleimani associate, was also killed in the attack.
“General Suleimani was actively developing plans to attack American diplomats and service members in Iraq and throughout the region,” a Pentagon statement said. “This strike was aimed at deterring future Iranian attack plans. The United States will continue to take all necessary action to protect our people and our interests wherever they are around the world.”
Minutes before the statement Trump tweeted a US flag without comment. Later, the White House put out a statement saying the strike was a “decisive defensive action” carried out “at the direction of the president”.
Iran’s supreme leader, Ali Khamenei, ordered three days of mourning and vowed that the US would face “severe revenge” for the killing.