1 ：ちーたろlove&peace ★：2020/01/03(金) 15:30:17.46 ID:3fK23Ugj9.net
January 3, 2020 5:25 am by Katrina Manson in Washington, Najmeh Bozorgmehr in Tehran and David Sheppard in London
Iran’s top military leader killed in US air strike
Pentagon accused Qassem Soleimani of ‘orchestrating attacks’ on US forces in Iraq
The press office of the Iraq prime minister released this photo of a burning vehicle at the Baghdad International Airport following an airstrike © AP
General Qassem Soleimani, the head of the Iranian Revolutionary Guards’ overseas forces, has been killed in a targeted US air strike at Baghdad airport.
A US Pentagon statement accused Soleimani of “actively developing plans to attack American diplomats and service members in Iraq” and said that US forces had “at the direction of the President” taken “decisive defensive action”.
The death of the military leader — who controlled Tehran’s extensive influence across the Middle East from Lebanon to Iraq, Syria and Yemen through the Revolutionary Guards’ al Quds forces — represents a dramatic escalation in the conflict between the US and Iran under the Trump administration.
The air strike came just days after the US embassy in Iraq was attacked by Iran-backed militia. Washington responded by announcing the deployment of 750 additional troops to the country. President Donald Trump blamed Tehran for the incident.
Iranian state media confirmed the death of Soleimani, who was travelling with senior Iraqi militia leaders who also died in the attack.
Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, Iran’s supreme leader, vowed to take “tough revenge” for the death of Soleimani, saying “the resistance movement will continue with double motivations”. Foreign minister, Mohammad Javad Zarif, warned the US over what he called an “extremely dangerous and a foolish escalation” in the tensions that have been building since Mr Trump entered the White House.
The Pentagon blamed Soleimani directly for “orchestrated attacks on coalition bases in Iraq over the last several months — including the attack on December 27”. He had also been accused of being the architect of proxy wars across the region engaging both the US and Tehran’s regional rivals.
Qassem Soleimani, commander of Iran’s elite Quds Force, was killed in the Baghdad airport attack © AP
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