Printer-friendly versionPrinter-friendly version Share this

"It's like Iran killing the head of the CIA or the Mossad on foreign soil."

Major General Qasem Soleimani, pictured here on April 11, 2016, was reportedly killed Friday in Iraq.

Major General Qasem Soleimani, pictured here on April 11, 2016, was reportedly killed Friday in Iraq. (Photo: Khamenei.ir/cc)

This is a developing story... check back for updates...

by Eoin Higgins,

January 2, 2019 (Baghdad) -- A drone strike believed to be from the U.S. military at or near the Baghdad airport reportedly killed Iranian Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps Major General Qasem Soleimani, an act that observers warned could mark a significant step toward a hot war in the region.

The U.S. confirmed the strike an hour after the attack.

"The Trump administration just plunged the region into a likely massive sectarian and bloody crisis—and along with it, this country," tweeted Al Jazeera journalist Sana Saeed. "Cautious to overstate the potential but it's hard to ignore that targeting Soleimani is an explicit act of war."

The strike came less than 24 hours after acting Secretary of Defense Mark Esper told reporters that the U.S. military was willing and ready to undertake pre-emptive strikes against Iranian-backed militants in Iraq, a reaction to protests Tuesday outside of the American embassy in Baghdad that paralyzed the 104-acre complex.

"If we get word of attacks, we will take preemptive action as well to protect American forces, protect American lives," said Esper. "The game has changed."

As the New York Times reported: "The strike killed five people, including the pro-Iranian chief of an umbrella group for Iraqi militias, Iraqi television reported and militia officials confirmed. The militia chief, Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis, was a strongly pro-Iranian figure."

Journalist Rania Khalek took to social media to explain the situation and the context of Soleimani's place in the Iranian military.

"Most Americans won't understand the gravity of this," said Khalek. "Qasem Soleimani is head of the Iranian IRGC's elite Quds Force, which conducts operations outside of Iran in both Iraq and Syria."

The National's deputy foreign editor Jack Moore described the importance of the strike as tantamount to Iran killing Gina Haspel.

"It's like Iran killing the head of the CIA or the Mossad on foreign soil," said Moore. "This isn't just about Iraq."


Error message

Support community news in the public interest! As nonprofit news, we rely on donations from the public to fund our reporting -- not special interests. Please donate to sustain East County Magazine's local reporting and/or wildfire alerts at https://www.eastcountymedia.org/donate to help us keep people safe and informed across our region.


wow. :\

I'd like to be able to say I'm surprised by the comments here, but sadly, I'm not. Sorry for your loss, Liberals.


Poke a hornet's nest with a stick and you know that you will get stung. Trump has no plan, he only reacts with no idea what will happen or what he started. Vote in 2020.

Congresswoman Susan Davis statement on Soleimani kiling:

“There is no doubt that Qasem Soleimani was responsible for countless deaths and violence, what is not clear is the Trump Administration’s justification and the strategy for the aftermath of this dangerous escalation. The administration needs to explain to the American people and to Congress, which was not consulted, about the ‘imminent attack’ and provide reassurance that it has the diplomatic capabilities to prevent this from spiraling into a major conflict with Iran.”