The US assassination of Iranian Lieutenant General Qassem Soleimani underscored that President Donald Trump is an “inexperienced, impulsive and perpetually aggrieved commander in chief” that the American people can’t afford and trust to lead their country, according to an editorial in The New York Times.

“There are reasons to be worried, even terrified, and they’re rooted in his untraditional and sometimes irrational approach to the presidency,” the newspaper said in its article.

“I’m scared because all presidents are only as good as the counsel they seek and the counselors who provide it, and Trump has burned through so many top advisers and so much good will that he operates with a hollowed-out staff of half-baked experience,” wrote Frank Bruni, an opinion columnist at the Times.

The editorial said former US Defense Secretary Jim Mattis had “found the president to be of limited cognitive ability and of generally dubious character.”

“Limited cognition? Dubious character? Those may not matter when you’re choosing the gilt for a golf resort or skyscraper. They do when you’re deciding whether to put American lives on the line,” the article said.

“We’re estranged from some of our most important allies, who are exhausted by Trump’s moods, offended by his mockery of them and chilled by his ignorance. They have concluded that if he is America, America is no longer trustworthy,” the columnist added.

The editorial said Trump’s “past exaggerations and lies” show that his justification for killing General Soleimani cannot be believed.

“In targeting Soleimani, he embraced a course that his predecessors in the Oval Office rejected as too extreme,” it added.

Early on Wednesday, Iran responded to the assassination of Soleimani, the Middle East’s most prominent anti-terror commander, and his Iraqi trenchmate Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis, striking two US bases in Iraq. 

The Pentagon claimed that it would take necessary measures to protect US military forces amid heightened tensions in the region.

“We are working on initial battle damage assessments,” Pentagon spokesman Jonathan Hoffman said in statement, adding that the targets were the American airbase of Ain al-Assad in Anbar province in western Iraq and another in Erbil, the capital of Iraq’s semi-autonomous Kurdistan region.

Meanwhile, US Democrats said that Iran’s missile attack was not a surprise, saying that it was an inevitable response to Trump’s decision to assassinate the top general.