President Trump Ordered A Military Attack on Iranian General Qassim Soleimani to Protect US Personnel.
The recent death of Iran’s General Qassim Soleimani, in response to protect US Personnel at the US Embassy in Iraq which was just attacked by Hezbollah militia commanded by Soleimani, will certainly degrade Iran’s armed forces. Particularly, when Iran with Russia and China held a joint four-day naval exercise in the northern part of the Indian Ocean.
The Department of Defense confirmed late Thursday that the U.S. military has killed the Iranian regime’s top military general Qassem Soleimani at the direction of President Donald Trump.
Soleimani, the head of Iran’s elite Quds Force, or Jerusalem force, was killed by a U.S. airstrike following reports at least three Katyusha rockets were fired on an Iraqi military base housing coalition counter-terrorism forces. The strikes near Baghdad International Airport happened early Friday morning local time.
Soleimani’s death was confirmed by Iraqi TV, three Iraqi officials, and Iranian state TV.
“At the direction of the President, the U.S. military has taken decisive defensive action to protect U.S. personnel abroad by killing Qasem Soleimani, the head of the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps-Quds Force, a U.S.-designated Foreign Terrorist Organization,” the department said in a statement late Thursday.
The department added that Soleimani was “actively developing plans to attack American diplomats and service members in Iraq and throughout the region.”
“General Soleimani and his Quds Force were responsible for the deaths of hundreds of American and coalition service members and the wounding of thousands more,” the statement continues.
According to the United States, Soleimani was responsible for orchestrating attacks on coalition bases in Iraq over the past several months, which included the attack at the Kirkuk military base in northern Iraq on Dec. 27 that killed an American and wounded several American and Iraqi troops.
Soleimani also approved the attacks on the U.S. Embassy in Baghdad that took place earlier this week, the department said.
“This strike was aimed at deterring future Iranian attack plans,” the DoD announced. “The United States will continue to take all necessary action to protect our people and our interests wherever they are around the world.”
Prior to the DoD’s announcement, but several hours after news broke about attacks at Baghdad International Airport, Trump tweeted an image of the American flag, without further comment.
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) January 3, 2020
Soleimani is considered the architect behind the Iranian regime’s foreign influence activities in the Middle East as head of the Quds force—an elite unit within Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC) that is tasked with Iran’s extra-territorial military operations including activities to expand Iranian influence in Syria and rocket attacks on Israel.
Soleimani had been rumored dead several times, including in a 2006 airplane crash that killed other military officials in northwestern Iran and following a 2012 bombing in Damascus that killed top aides of embattled Syrian President Bashar Assad. More recently, rumors circulated in November 2015 that Soleimani was killed or seriously wounded leading forces loyal to Assad as they fought around Syria’s Aleppo.
The senior politician said Soleimani’s body was identified by the ring he wore. DNA confirmation is pending.
The United States designated Iran’s IRGC as a foreign terrorist organization in April 2019, the first time the United States has designated part of a foreign government as a terror group.
“The IRGC FTO designation highlights that Iran is an outlaw regime that uses terrorism as a key tool of statecraft and that the IRGC, part of Iran’s official military, has engaged in terrorist activity or terrorism since its inception 40 years ago,” the State Department announced at the time.
The IRGC was responsible for 17 percent of U.S. personnel deaths in Iraq from 2003 to 2011, which is about 603 deaths, the department said.