On Thursday evening (Jan 2), the U.S. Dept. of Defense (DOD) claimed its forces killed a high-profile Iranian military officer after an American drone blasted down on Iraq’s international airport in Baghdad.
General Qasem Soleimani (pictured), the leader of Iran’s Revolutionary Guard Corps and its secret Quds Force division, is the high-ranking official the DOD claims U.S. forces killed, according to an official statement released by the Pentagon.
“At the direction of the President, the U.S. military has taken decisive defensive action to protect U.S. personnel abroad by killing Qasem Soleimani, the head of the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps-Quds Force, a U.S.-designated Foreign Terrorist Organization,” the Pentagon’s statement reads.
“This strike was aimed at deterring future Iranian attack plans. The United States will continue to take all necessary action to protect our people and our interests wherever they are around the world,” the Pentagon also said.
NBC News reported that another high-ranking Iranian deputy was killed by U.S. missiles at Iraq’s international airport in Baghdad. This unnamed deputy helps lead Iran’s Popular Mobilization Forces in the region, according to NBC.
From late December 2019 until now, there has been an abundance of violence carried out in Iraq. Baghdad’s predominantly Shi’ite Muslim government is allied with neighboring Iran, which is also a predominantly Shi’ite Muslim nation.
This alliance does not sit well with the U.S. because it undermines the dominance of one of its most influential allies in the region: The Sunni-led government of Saudi Arabia. Iran has vowed to “violently” retaliate against the U.S. for its air raid that killed General Soleimani.
“In case of any threat posed against the country, the Army divisions will, undoubtedly, be the first units to give the proper response to the enemies,” said Iranian Army Commander Major General Seyed Abdolrahim Mousavi.
“The enemies should know that they will receive a harsh, firm and decisive response to any aggression or move against the country and the Islamic Revolution,” Major Mousavi continued, according to Tehran’s official FarsNews Agency.
“30 years after the end of (Iraqi-imposed) war, no country dares to fire even a single bullet against us and this shows that the enemy is well aware of the Islamic Republic’s power and might,” he continued.
HVY.com will be providing follow-up updates on this evolving international world news story.