USA eliminated Iran’s top general Qasem Soleimani in Baghdad airstrike; Iran vows vengeance

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Iran is furious with the death of its top general Qasem Soleimani at the hands of USA

The U.S Defence department confirmed the death of General Qasem Soleimani, the supreme Iranian commander on Thursday night in a targeted drone strike ordered by President Donald Trump on Bagdad Airport in Iraq.

Who was General Qasem Soleimani?

Qasem Soleimani was one of the most influential figures in Iran and the Middle East. He was conceived as a danger by America and its allies. The 62-year-old Islamic Revolutionary Guard commander headed the external operation, Quds Force, for the Guards. He had yielded his public influence since 2018 when it was revealed that he was directly involved in top-level talks over the formation of Iraq’s government.

USA eliminated Iran’s top general Qasem Soleimani in Baghdad airstrike; Iran vows vengeance.
Picture: Reuters

While he was a shadowy figure till long with very little information available about him, he rose to celebrity status in Iran in recent years with a huge following on Instagram. He rose to prominence publicly when he was pushed forward as the public face of Iran’s intervention in the Syrian conflict from 2013, appearing in battlefield photos and documentaries.

For his supporters and nemesis alike, Soleimani was the key architect of Iran’s regional influence, leading the fight against jihadist forces and extending Iran’s diplomatic heft in Iraq, Syria, Lebanon and beyond. Former CIA analyst Kenneth Pollack once described him as the “James Bond, Lady Gaga and Erwin Rommel rolled into one” to Middle Easter Shiites while to the west, he was the man behind “Iran’s Islamic revolution, supporting terrorists, subverting pro-western governments and waging Iran’s foreign wars.”

USA eliminated Iran’s top general Qasem Soleimani in Baghdad airstrike; Iran vows vengeance.
Picture: Reuters

Airstrike

The Airstrike took place on the early hours of Friday was defended by President Donald Trump, saying the general was responsible for “thousands” of American deaths and “plotting to kill many more”. The Pentagon said that the targeted elimination of Soleimani was a decisive defensive action from the President to protect US personnel abroad. In a series of tweets, President Trump informs about the killing of Soleimani and how he was responsible for the deaths of so many Americans.

https://twitter.com/realDonaldTrump/status/1213096351296299017

As per Iraq’s military, the international airport was hit in a volley of missiles just after midnight. Security sources further informed that the rockets targeted a Hashed convoy which left eight people dead, including some ‘important figures.’

The drone strike also killed Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis, the deputy commander of Iran-backed militias known as the Popular Mobilization Forces, or PMF.

Iran’s reaction

Iran has vowed to retaliate against the US Airstrike that took down its Supreme defence commander. Calling the American’s move as its “biggest mistake in west Asia,” Iran threatened “severe vengeance.”

Iran’s Supreme National Security Council issued a statement vowing to retaliate “in the right place and time”. The statement read that America should know that the criminal attack on General Soleimani has been the country’s biggest mistake in West Asia, and America cannot avoid the consequences of this wrong calculation easily. The criminals involved will face severe vengeance… in the right place and time,” it concluded.