In response to the attack on the American Embassy in Baghdad by Iranian-backed militia, the U.S. has responded in kind.  In an airstrike at Baghdad International Airport,  a top Iranian commander was struck and killed on Thursday evening EST (Friday morning Iraqi time), a huge intelligence and military victory for the United States.  Gen. Qassem Soleimani was the head of the Iranian Revolutionary Guard and in charge of Iran’s elite Quds Forces in Iraq and was planning to attack U.S. diplomats when he was taken out.

In a statement, the U.S. Department of Defence confirmed the death of Soleimani stating that, “At the direction of the President, the United States military has taken decisive defensive action to protect US personnel abroad  by killing Qassem Soleimani, the head of the Iranian Revolutionary Guard called the Quds Force, a US-designated foreign terrorist organization.”

Iranian-backed protesters outside the U.S. Embassy compound on Jan 2, 2020. Credit: AP
An Iraqi US-trained counterterrorism military person stands guard outside the US Embassy in Baghdad after Iranian-backed protesters attacked facility – Jan 2, 2020. Credit: AFP/GETTY

Iraqi State TV reported that Gen. Qassem Soleimani of Iran’s Quds Force was killed in Baghdad airstrike and has blamed the United States for his death.  According to the same broadcast, at least seven people were killed during the strike among them the Iranian revered General.  If the reports are true, this is significant victory for the US., a long overdue move on the part of the effort by the US to take him out.

Soleimani was responsible for the  killing of hundreds of US soldiers as well as tens of thousands of people across in the Middle East.  He was viewed as the equivalent of Iran’s top CIA and Special Forces and his death is a blow to the regime.  To kill the top Iranian Commander  is a huge and significant victory for President Trump and his Administration, the US military and intelligence service and the State Department.  His killing is being equated to the killing of al-Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden and ISIS founder and leader, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi. 

Top Iranian commander of elite Quds Forces, Gen. Qassem Soleimani was killed during U.S. airstrike in Baghdad on Thur Jan 2, 2020 (Iraq Frid morning Jan 3, 2020) . Credit: AP/File

The strike is said to have also taken out Soleimani’s second, Abu Mahdi a;-Muhandis, the deputy commander of Iranian-backed militia called the Popular Mobilization Forces (PMF).  The PMF blames the U.S. for the attack which killed their leader at Baghdad International Airport on Thursday evening (local Friday morning).

While Tehran got the message tonight that President Trump does not bluff , the U.S. military is now said to be in high alert in case of retaliation by Iranian proxies in Iraq and throughout the region.  Both the U.S. and Iran have not issued any comments.

© 2020 Manyika Review

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