A bombing by the United States today killed the powerful Iranian general Qasem Soleimani , head of the Quds Force of the Guardians of the Revolution, the entity in charge of the foreign operations of the Islamic Republic. The attack raised global alarm over rising regional tensions and calls for “revenge” from Tehran.
What happened in Iraq?
The airstrike took place early today (local time) near the access to the Baghdad airport, after General Soleimani got off his plane and got into a car with other people, said a senior Iraqi security official. The Iranian commander came from Lebanon or Syria.
The bodies of Soleimani and Al-Muhandis were destroyed, according to official sources. A high-ranking politician pointed out that the general was identified thanks to a ring.
The origin of the attack on Iran
Last Tuesday and Wednesday, pro-Iranian militiamen stormed the US embassy in Iraq after a bombing by Washington forces on the Kataeb Hezbollah militia , founded by Muhandis, which left 25 dead.
The attack is part of the growing tensions between the United States and Iran. Tehran shot down a US military drone and detained oil tankers last year, while the United States blames Iran for several attacks on tankers, as well as a September attack on the Saudi Arabian oil industry that caused a temporary reduction in production. to the half.
The tensions stem from Trump’s decision in May 2018 to withdraw the United States from the nuclear deal between the Islamic Republic and world powers during the administration of his predecessor, former President Barack Obama.
Who died in the attack on Qasem Soleimani?
The main target of the attack was the powerful 62-year-old General Qasem Soleimani, one of Iran’s most popular figures and a feared adversary of the United States and its allies.
Soleimani, head of the Quds Force, was the key man of Iranian influence in the Middle East, where he reinforced Tehran’s diplomatic weight, especially in Iraq and Syria, two countries where the United States is militarily involved.
Also killed in the operation was Abu Mahdi al Muhandis, deputy commander of the Popular Mobilization Forces (FMP), a paramilitary group backed by Tehran.
Jamal Jaafar Ibrahimi, his real name, was the number two of Hashd Al Shaabi, a pro-Iranian paramilitary coalition that is part of the Iraqi state apparatus and that led the assault on the US embassy this week. He was known by the name of Al-Muhandis (engineer in Arabic) and was Soleimani’s advisor and friend.
The successor of Qasem Soleimani
The Iranian Supreme Guide today appointed Esmail Qaani as the new head of the Al Quds force. Ayatollah Khamenei described Qaani, until now deputy head of the Al Quds Force, as “one of the most decorated commanders” of the Guardians of the Revolution, the Iranian ideological army, since the war between Iran and Iraq (1980-1988) .