Top Iranian Army Commander Killed In US Airstrikes Ordered By President Donald Trump
The United States’ Defense Department has confirmed the death of top Iranian commander Qasem Soleimani at Baghdad’s airport in an airstrike, ordered by President Donald Trump in the early hours of January 3.
Qassem Soleimani led the Revolutionary Guards’ Quds force (a US-designated terrorist organisation) and proxy armies that extended Iran’s power across the Middle East.
“At the direction of the president, the US military has taken decisive defensive action to protect US personnel abroad by killing Soleimani’, the department said. “General Soleimani was actively developing plans to attack American diplomats and service members in Iraq and throughout the region.”
Subsequently, Iraq’s security forces have also said in an official statement that their airport in Baghdad had been ‘struck by rockets’.
It is feared that Qassem Soleimani’s killing might further provoke the growing tensions between the US and Iran, resulting in an armed battle.
Iran’s Foreign Minister Javad Zarif took to Twitter to condemn the killing. Calling it “an act of international terrorism”, he said that Iran was “THE most effective force fighting” Islamic State and Al Qaeda.
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.
— Javad Zarif (@JZarif) January 3, 2020
Calling the move “extremely dangerous and a foolish escalation,” Zarif said, “The US bears responsibility for all consequences of its rogue adventurism.”
The slain general, Soleimani, a veteran of the Iran-Iraq war, was a household name in Iran where he was celebrated for helping to defeat Islamic State in Iraq and Syria and countering US aggressions.
This year, due to Donald Trump’s New Year tweet there was a lot of speculation over what might be the US’ action towards Iran, as he had openly warned the Islamic Republic of severe consequences for the assault on the American embassy in Iraq.
….Iran will be held fully responsible for lives lost, or damage incurred, at any of our facilities. They will pay a very BIG PRICE! This is not a Warning, it is a Threat. Happy New Year!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) December 31, 2019
However, responding to the Iranian commander’s killing, Senator Chris Murphy, a Connecticut Democrat, declared through Twitter that the Trump administration had acted without congressional approval, and asked whether the killing of the general was worth “setting off a potential massive regional war.”
Soleimani was an enemy of the United States. That’s not a question.
The question is this – as reports suggest, did America just assassinate, without any congressional authorization, the second most powerful person in Iran, knowingly setting off a potential massive regional war?
— Chris Murphy (@ChrisMurphyCT) January 3, 2020
Former Vice President Joe Biden, a Democratic presidential candidate, said in a statement that while “no American will mourn” Soleimani’s passing, “President Trump just tossed a stick of dynamite into a tinderbox, and he owes the American people an explanation.”