President Trump on Friday tweeted his first remarks since the U.S. airstrike that killed Iranian general Qassem Soleimani, one of that country’s most powerful military and political figures.

President Donald Trump on Friday mounted a forceful defense of the killing of Qassem Soleimani by American forces, declaring an end to the Iranian general’s “reign of terror” while pushing back on concerns about his administration’s end goal.

In his first formal response to Thursday night’s attack, the president asserted that the strike on Soleimani should have taken place “long ago.” But he sought to ease fears that he had just dragged the U.S. into another messy military conflict even as he declined to lay out immediate next steps.

“We took action last night to stop a war. We did not take action to start a war,” he told reporters in an impromptu address at his Mar-A-Lago resort in Florida.

Addressing the media, Trump was stern and solemn.

“Under my leadership, America’s policy is unambiguous to terrorists who harm or intend to harm any American. We will find you. We will eliminate you,” he said, estimating that “hundreds” of American civilians and servicemembers were victims to Soleimani’s “ruthless” rule.

A statement from President Trump: