President Trump ordered a U.S. airstrike that killed Qasem Soleimani, a commander of Iran’s Quds’ Force.
67-year-old Soleimani was known to be one of the most extreme military leaders in the Middle East. He was responsible for the deaths of hundreds of American military personnel, wounding thousands, and killing thousands more Iranian and Iraqi citizens with IEDs. According to The New York Times and the Pentagon, Soleimani was planning on more attacks on Americans.
Soleimani was among several other Iraqi military leaders that were killed when an MQ-9 Reaper Drone shot missiles at a convoy leaving Baghdad International Airport.
The New York Times states, “General Suleimani was the architect of nearly every significant operation by Iranian intelligence and military forces over the past two decades, and his death was a staggering blow for Iran at a time of sweeping geopolitical conflict.”
Iran’s supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, said in a statement, “His departure to God does not end his path or his mission, but a forceful revenge awaits the criminals who have his blood and the blood of the other martyrs last night on their hands.”
Soleimani was regarded as second in command only to Khamenei. This mission was allegedly underway after the Iranian militia killed an American contractor via a rocket attack on Dec. 27 on a military base near Kirkuk, Iraq.