US killed key Iran General Qasem Soleimani

US killed key Iran General Qasem Soleimani
US claimed Mr. Qasem Soleimani was the key figure behind Baghdad embassy attack. Source: AFP
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Daily US Times, Baghdad: Iraqi state television reported the commander of Iran’s Quds Force and a senior official in Iraq’s paramilitary forces have been killed.

US troops in Iraq targeted Qasem Soleimani, commander of Iran’s Revolutionary Guards Quds Force unit vehicle at Baghdad International Airport.

Pentagon confirms his death and said he was killed “at the direction of President Trump”.

The deputy head of the Iran-backed Iraqi Popular Mobilization Forces (PMF) Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis and head of protocol of the PMF were among those killed.

Rockets hit two of PMF vehicles and killed a number of people.

The death considered a huge US success but as well as marks a huge escalation that analysts fear could lead to an Iranian response.

The strike comes days after protesters attacked the US embassy in Baghdad, clashing with US forces at the scene. The US accused Gen Soleimani of being the mastermind behind it.

The Reactions

There are heavy reactions coming from every corner of the globe. Iran vows ‘severe revenge’ over the killing.

Russian condemns the killing as ‘reckless step’. The country’s foreign ministry has said it views the “murder of Soleimani by a US strike as a reckless step that will lead to a rise in tension in the whole region”.

US Democratic presidential candidate and former Vice President Joe Biden described the attack as a “hugely escalators move in an already dangerous region” and said President Donald Trump had “tossed a stick of dynamite into a tinderbox”.

Iran’s foreign minister Javad Zarif tweeted: ‘The US’ act of international terrorism, targeting & assassinating General Soleimani—THE most effective force fighting Daesh (ISIS), Al Nusrah, Al Qaeda et al—is extremely dangerous & a foolish escalation. The US bears responsibility for all consequences of its rogue adventurism.”

AFP reports the US Embassy in Baghdad has urged citizens to “depart Iraq immediately” following the strike.

Who was Qasem Soleimani?

General Qasem Soleimani commanded Iranian military operations in the region. Source: AFP

Soleimani was a major figure the US has been long hunting for. Since 1998, Maj Gen Qasem Soleimani led Iran’s Quds Force – an elite unit in Iran’s Revolutionary Guards. His force handles clandestine operations abroad.

He first came to prominence in his country serving in the Iran-Iraq war in the 1980s and later played a vital role bolstering Bashar al-Assad’s Iranian-supported government in the Syrian Civil War, and in the fight against the Islamic State (IS) group in Iraq.