Trump Kills Second Most Powerful Man in Iran; Warns of More to Come

January 3, 2020

5 min read


Qasem Soleimani(Photo via Wikimedia Commons)

On Friday, the U.S. military carried out a strike at the Baghdad International Airport ordered by President Trump that killed Gen. Qassim Soleimani.  It is believed that Soleimani was in Iran overseeing the attacks against U.S. assets including the riots that breached the U.S. Embassy in Baghdad on Tuesday.

“At the direction of the President, the US military has taken decisive defensive action to protect US personnel abroad by killing Qasem Soleimani, the head of the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps-Quds Force, a US-designated Foreign Terrorist Organization,” the Pentagon said in a statement.

Soleimani (Photo via Wikimedia Commons)

Soleimani became head of the Quds Force in 1998 and was responsible for carrying out operations beyond Iran’s borders. Soleimani was an ally of Syrian despot President Bashar al Assad and the Houthis in Yemen. A report by the State Department earlier this year concluded Iranian forces were responsible for killing 608 U.S. troops during the Iraq War. According to the State Department, 17 percent of all deaths of U.S. personnel in Iraq from 2003 to 2011 were carried out under Soleimani’s personal direction.

The Pentagon said that Soleimani was planning attacks on American diplomats and soldiers in Iraq when he was killed on Friday.

“General Suleimani was actively developing plans to attack American diplomats and service members in Iraq and throughout the region,” the Pentagon said in a statement. “General Suleimani and his Quds Force were responsible for the deaths of hundreds of American and coalition service members and the wounding of thousands more.”

“He had orchestrated attacks on coalition bases in Iraq over the last several months — including the attack on December 27th — culminating in the death and wounding of additional American and Iraqi personnel.”

In an uncharacteristically anti-bombastic manner, the U.S. President announced the elimination of the threat with a tweet that simply displayed the American flag.

(Photo via Facebook Benyamin Lemkin)

An American MQ-9 Reaper drone fired several rockets Soleimani landed at the airport and was being greeted by several terrorist VIPs in two vehicles. The attack killed a total of seven people, officials said, including Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis, the deputy commander of Iran-backed militias operating in Iraq known as the Popular Mobilization Forces. An official with the Popular Mobilization Forces said its airport protocol officer, Mohammed Reda, also died.

The enemies of the U.S. also saw Israel as being guilty of the attack against Soleimani who was also responsible for Iran’s military encroachment into Syria.

“The American and Israeli enemy is responsible for killing the mujahideen Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis and Qassem Soleimani,” Ahmed al-Assadi, a spokesman for Iraq’s Popular Mobilization Forces umbrella grouping of Iran-backed militias, told Reuters.

Israel’s Defense Minister Naftali Bennett called a special meeting on Friday and it was reported that the IDF was on high alert in the wake of the American attack.

The Israel connection was also noted by Senator Ted Cruz in a more positive light.

Soleimani was in charge of the Iranian government killing hundreds of protesters last month. Because of this, a counterintuitive result of the killing of Soleimani might be increased support for the U.S. in Iran, as seen in a tweet by Iranian journalist and activist Masih Alinejad.

Taking out Soleimani firmly establishes President Trump as the biggest threat to global terrorism the world has seen in a long time. The Islamic State (ISIS) took control of a large section of the Middle East during the administration of former President Barack Obama, who referred to the horrific terrorist organization dismissively as a “JV (junior varsity) team.” Since Trump took office, ISIS has become all but extinct and has effectively stopped all terrorist activities. In October, Trump ordered a raid that killed ISIS founder Abu Bakr al Baghdadi.

Iranian state TV carried a statement by Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei on Friday who warned that a “harsh retaliation is waiting.”

“His departure to God does not end his path or his mission,” the statement said, “but a forceful revenge awaits the criminals who have his blood and the blood of the other martyrs last night on their hands.”

Khamenei declared three days of national mourning for the general who he called “the international face of resistance.”

Iran’s Foreign Minister Javad Zarif called the killing an act of “terrorism.”

Political experts considered the killing of Soleimani to be a huge blow to global terrorism. National Washington Correspondent Joyce Karam tweeted, “Hard to understate how big this is.”

Free Beacon writer Noah Pollack called the hit “a bigger deal for the Middle East than the bin Laden raid or the killing of Mughniyeh in 2008.”

AJC Global analyst Julie Lenarz tweeted her agreement.

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