In a stunning admission, Iran says that one of its most powerful generals was killed in Iraq as well as a senior deputy.
An airstrike killed Gen. Qassem Soleimani, head of Iran’s elite Quds Force and architect of its regional security apparatus, at Baghdad’s international airport Friday, Iranian state television and three Iraqi officials said, an attack that’s expected to draw severe Iranian retaliation against Israel and American interests.
The strike also killed Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis, deputy commander of Iran-backed militias in Iraq known as the Popular Mobilization Forces, or PMF, the officials said. The PMF media arm said the two were killed in an American airstrike that targeted their vehicle on the road to the airport.
A Revolutionary Guard statement says that the two senior Iranian military officials were killed by a U.S. attack helicopter attack at the Baghdad airport.
The U.S. Department of Defense said that the attack was directed by President Donald Trump.
“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 Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps-Quds Force, a U.S.-designated Foreign Terrorist Organization,” the Pentagon said in a statement.
The White House says that Soleimani was planning attacks on American diplomats and servicemen:
While the White House is being widely praised for the decisive action, Democrats are trying to spin the story as a misstep by Trump.
Presidential Candidate Joe Biden said in a statement that he thinks the move will backfire on the U.S.
Trump “just tossed a stick of dynamite into a tinderbox,” Biden said after reports confirmed a U.S. drone strike killed Gen. Qasem Soleimani. “I hope the Administration has thought through the second- and third-order consequences of the path they have chosen.”
Congresswoman Ilhan Omar (D-MN) accused Trump of issuing the strike as a distraction from impeachment… or something.
But those with the backbone to stand up to Iran’s latest escalations against the United States support the strike.