A report by the CNN in Baghdad indicates that President Donald Trump ordered an airstrike at Baghdad international airport that killed Qasem Soleimani, a key Iranian military commander, during a decisive defensive action to guard US personnel abroad.
The airstrike, which was intended to discourage future Iranian attack plans, was confirmed by the Pentagon on Thursday, January 2. it had been reported that the assassination of the highest leader marks a serious escalation in regional tensions that have pitted Tehran against the US and Washington’s Gulf Arab allies within the region.
According to the report, Soleimani was revered in Iran, where three days of national mourning have been declared.
In a message published to his official website, the country’s supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, vowed revenge for the killing, saying that “harsh revenge awaits the criminals” involved. Formed in 2014 to fight ISIS, the PMF is a Shia paramilitary made up of former militias with close ties to Iran. it had been recognised under a 2016 Iraqi law as an independent military unit that answers on to the prime minister.
The CNN’s report also quoted Pentagon as saying that Soleimani and his Quds Force were liable for the deaths of many American and coalition service members, and therefore the wounding of thousands more. The Pentagon also blamed the Iranian general for orchestrating attacks on coalition bases in Iraq in recent months, including an attack on December 27, that culminated within the deaths of an American contractor and Iraqi personnel. Khamenei warned the fight would continue and added it had been Soleimani’s wish for years to become a martyr.