By Ruben Colffer
Contributing Writer for Telegraph Local
A high-profile commander from Iran was killed Friday morning by a U.S airstrike authorized by President Trump. The top Iran General Qassim Suleimani was struck by an American Reaper drone, the most feared drone in the world, at Baghdad International Airport, American officials said.
Suleimani was the commander of Iran’s powerful Revolutionary Guard Corps in Iraq, Syria, Lebanon and elsewhere throughout the Middle East. He was one of the most powerful minds behind Iranian intelligence and military forces for the last twenty years and his assassination was a huge loss for Iran.
Last week, an American contractor was killed in a rocket attack in Iraq. The ambush also wounded several US military service members and other Iraqi personnel. The strike on Suleimani could have been the outcome of this rising confrontation between President Trump and Iran.
“General Qassem Soleimani has killed or badly wounded thousands of Americans over an extended period of time and was plotting to kill many more… but got caught!,” said President Trump on Twitter. “He was directly and indirectly responsible for the death of millions of people, including the recent large number of protesters killed in Iran itself. While Iran will never be able to properly admit it, Soleimani was both hated and feared within the country.”
President Trump finished his statement saying that the people of Iran may not be as concerned as their superiors: “They are not nearly as saddened as the leaders will let the outside world believe. He should have been taken out many years ago!”
The superior leader of Iran, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei ordered in a statement for three days of public mourning and then revenge.
“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,” the statement said.
In the meantime, United States officials prepared for potential attacks from Iran, most likely cyberattacks and terrorism. Officials mentioned that these attacks could also affect US allies. For instance, in Israel some of the country’s most popular sites for tourists closed down due to the alerts by their armed forces.
The Pentagon said in a statement that General Suleimani was actively developing plans to attack American diplomats and service members in Iraq and throughout the region:
“General Suleimani and his Quds Force were responsible for the deaths of hundreds of American and coalition service members and the wounding of thousands more.”
The Pentagon did not arrange parts or details of how the attack was arranged, however they specify that the highly classified mission was planned right after the American contractor’s death on Dec. 27 by the rocket attack.
According to a security official, General Suleimani flew to Iraq to ease down protesters. He was picked up by two cars right after he got off the plane and was struck as he was leaving Baghdad International Airport.