Soleimani’s death was met with grief and fury by both Iranians and Iraqis. Mourners have been chanting ‘Death to America’ ever since he was killed last week, and Iran has promised to deliver “severe revenge” upon the “criminals” who were responsible for his death, with a senior military advisor promising to “set ablaze” US-backed areas. President Trump, however, argued that his actions aimed to “stop a war” rather than to start one. He claimed the death of the Iranian commander – who had control of the Iranian elite military unit, the Quds, and was revered by citizens throughout the Middle East – ended Soleimani’s “reign of terror”.
He also added that, if the Iranians reacted to Soleimani’s death, he would strike “very fast and very hard” in retaliation.
The President said he had already identified 52 Iranian targets – including protected cultural sites – which the US military would attack if Iranians made any move to “torture, maim and blow up our people”.
Yet, recently released figures show the US is not the world’s strongest power.
Statistics from Global Firepower and Statista chart how the different militaries from across the world compare – and show the US is trailing behind two much larger nations with greater populations.
According to the data, China has a staggering supply of 2,183,000 soldiers, completely dominating all other nations.
The US troops are dwarfed by two other nations (Image: Getty/Express.co.uk)
Donald Trump ordered a deadly drone strike on Qassam Soleimani (Image: Getty)
India, its closest rival in terms of manpower, still trails a long way behind with 1,362,500 troops.
The US sits behind both countries with 1,281,900 – despite President Trump’s tweets at the weekend that the US forces “are the biggest and by far the best in the world”.
Although Iran appears to have the lowest number of troops compared to these rivals, with 523,000, Russia’s condemnation of President Trump’s actions – President Vladimir Putin dubbed the drone strike “illegal” – means Iran may have the country’s support too.
President Putin currently has 1,013,628 troops at his disposal and touched down in Damascus for an unexpected visit to see Syrian President Bashar al-Assad