Iraqi TV, Officials: Iran's Gen. Soleimani, Head of Elite Quds Force, Killed in Baghdad Airstrike | World Defense

Iraqi TV, Officials: Iran's Gen. Soleimani, Head of Elite Quds Force, Killed in Baghdad Airstrike

mtime7

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Iraqi TV, Officials: Iran's Gen. Soleimani, Head of Elite Quds Force, Killed in Baghdad Airstrike
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Revolutionary Guard Gen. Qassem Soleimani

In this Sept. 18, 2016 file photo released by an official website of the office of the Iranian supreme leader, Revolutionary Guard Gen. Qassem Soleimani, center, attends a meeting in Tehran, Iran. (Office of the Iranian Supreme Leader via AP)
2 Jan 2020
The Canadian Press
BAGHDAD — Gen. Qassim Soleimani, the head of Iran’s elite Quds Force, was killed in an airstrike at Baghdad’s international airport on Friday local time, Iraqi television and three Iraqi officials said.
The strike also killed Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis, the deputy commander of Iran-backed militias known as the Popular Mobilization Forces, or PMF, the officials said.

Their deaths are a potential turning point in the Middle East and are expected to draw severe retaliation from Iran and the forces it backs in the Middle East against Israel and American interests.

The PMF blamed the United States for an attack at Baghdad International Airport Friday.

There was no immediate comment from the U.S. or Iran.

A senior Iraqi politician and a high-level security official confirmed to the Associated Press that Soleimani and al-Muhandis were among those killed in the attack. Two militia leaders loyal to Iran also confirmed the deaths, including an official with the Kata'ib Hezbollah, which was involved in the attack on the U.S. Embassy this week.

The official, speaking on condition of anonymity, said al-Muhandis had arrived to the airport in a convoy to receive Soleimani whose plane had arrived from either Lebanon or Syria. The airstrike occurred as soon as he descended from the plane to be greeted by al-Muhandis and his companions, killing them all.

The officials spoke on condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of the subject and because they were not authorized to give official statements.

The senior politician said Soleimani's body was identified by the ring he wore.

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.

Earlier Friday, an official with an Iran-backed paramilitary force said that seven people were killed by a missile fired at Baghdad International Airport, blaming the United States.

The official with the group known as the Popular Mobilization Forces said the dead included its airport protocol officer, identifying him as Mohammed Reda.

A security official confirmed that seven people were killed in the attack on the airport, describing it as an airstrike. Earlier, Iraq’s Security Media Cell, which releases information regarding Iraqi security, said Katyusha rockets landed near the airport's cargo hall, killing several people and setting two cars on fire.

It was not immediately clear who fired the missile or rockets or who was targeted. There was no immediate comment from the U.S.

The attack came amid tensions with the United States after a New Year's Eve attack by Iran-backed militias on the U.S. Embassy in Baghdad. The two-day embassy attack which ended Wednesday prompted President Donald Trump to order about 750 U.S. soldiers deployed to the Middle East.

The breach at the embassy followed U.S. airstrikes on Sunday that killed 25 fighters of the Iran-backed militia in Iraq, the Kata'ib Hezbollah. The U.S. military said the strikes were in retaliation for last week’s killing of an American contractor in a rocket attack on an Iraqi military base that the U.S. blamed on the militia.

U.S. officials have suggested they were prepared to engage in further retaliatory attacks in Iraq.

“The game has changed,” Defense Secretary Mark Esper said Thursday, telling reporters that violent acts by Iran-backed Shiite militias in Iraq — including the rocket attack on Dec. 27 that killed one American — will be met with U.S. military force.

He said the Iraqi government has fallen short of its obligation to defend its American partner in the attack on the U.S. Embassy.

The developments also represent a major downturn in Iraq-U.S. relations that could further undermine U.S. influence in the region and American troops in Iraq and weaken Washington’s hand in its pressure campaign against Iran.

This article was from The Canadian Press and was legally licensed through the NewsCred publisher network. Please direct all licensing questions to [email protected].
 

mtime7

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Pentagon Confirms US Killed Gen. Suleimani, Head of Iran's Elite Quds Force
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Revolutionary Guard Gen. Qassem Soleimani attends an annual rally commemorating the anniversary of the 1979 Islamic revolution

In this Feb. 11, 2016 file photo, Revolutionary Guard Gen. Qassem Soleimani attends an annual rally commemorating the anniversary of the 1979 Islamic revolution, in Tehran, Iran. (AP Photo/Ebrahim Noroozi)
2 Jan 2020
Military.com | By Richard Sisk
The Pentagon has confirmed that a U.S. strike at Baghdad's International Airport Thursday night killed Iranian Maj. Gen. Qasem Suleimani, head of the Quds Force within the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC).
He had been planning attacks on U.S. troops and diplomats, officials said.

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In an unattributed statement, the Defense Department said that on order of President Donald Trump "the U.S. military has taken decisive defensive action to protect U.S. personnel abroad by killing Qasem Suleimani," head of the Quds Force, which was recently designated as a terrorist organization by the State Department.
The Pentagon statement charged that Soleimani was "actively developing plans to attack American diplomats and service members in Iraq and throughout the region," prompting the rocket attack on vehicles at the airport.

In an unattributed statement, the Defense Department said that on order of President Donald Trump "the U.S. military has taken decisive defensive action to protect U.S. personnel abroad by killing Qasem Suleimani," head of the Quds Force, which was recently designated as a terrorist organization by the State Department.

The Pentagon statement charged that Soleimani was "actively developing plans to attack American diplomats and service members in Iraq and throughout the region," prompting the rocket attack on vehicles at the airport.

Related: Demonstrators Will 'Run into a Buzzsaw' If They Try to Overrun US Embassy: Milley

Iraqi media said the attack was carried out by drones.

"This strike was aimed at deterring future Iranian attack plans," the statement added. "The United States will continue to take all necessary action to protect our people and our interests wherever they are around the world."

President Donald Trump did not speak publicly about the killing of Soleimani Thursday night, but tweeted out the image of an American flag.

Earlier, in an off-camera Pentagon briefing, Defense Secretary Mark Esper had warned that the U.S. was prepared to take preemptive action to protect U.S. forces and facilities in the region following following an assault Tuesday on the U.S. Embassy in Baghdad, allegedly planned by Suleimani.

Iran's Tasnim news agency, which has close ties to the IRGC, confirmed Suleimani's death early Friday local time.

The strike at the airport killed a total of five people, including Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis, head of the Iranian-backed Kata'ib Hezbollah (KH) militia believed responsible for the storming of the U.S. embassy on Tuesday, according to Iraqi state TV.

The U.S. has charged that the KH militia was behind at least 11 rocket attacks on U.S. bases in Iraq in the last two months, including one last Friday on a U.S. position near central Kirkuk that killed an American contractor and wounded four U.S. troops.

The Pentagon statement noted Suleimani's history as a main figure in orchestrating Iran's support for opposition to the U.S. invasion of Iraq in 2003 and for the Lebanese Hezbollah in backing the regime of Syria President Bashar al-Assad.

"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" since 2003, the Pentagon's statement said.

In addition, "He had orchestrated attacks on coalition bases in Iraq over the last several months," including the one near Kirkuk that killed the American contractor, the statement said.
 

mtime7

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things are heating up, are we going to have protests or the buzz saw?
 
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Scorpion

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He was responsible for the killing of thousands Syrians and Iraqis. He called him self the leader of the Quds force but fought eveywhere except Al-Quds. May he rest in hell. Thanks to our ally the US for working with us all this time to bring stability to the region. Our military forces are on high alert so do the rest of GCC states. If mullas are thinking about retaliation it will be the last day for them.
 

Scorpion

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Keep weeping....someone give him napkins please.:,(
 

Gripen9

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What was he doing in Iraq? Was he there on an official visit i-e guest of the Iraqi government or a clandestine / unofficial visit to just meet with the shia militias?
 

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