Iranian Quds Force commander, Qasem Soleimani, was killed during an airstrike in Bagdad yesterday, in the latest development of the conflict between leaders in Washington and Tehran.
This could serve as a dramatic development in the escalation of tensions between the US and Iran in another move that has prompted widespread criticism of President Donald Trump’s foreign policy.
“At the direction of the President, the U.S. military has taken decisive defensive action to protect U.S. personnel abroad by killing Qasem Soleimani, the head of the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps-Quds Force, a U.S.-designated Foreign Terrorist Organization,” the Pentagon said in an official statement.
“This strike was aimed at deterring future Iranian attack plans,” Defense secretary, Mark T. Esper, added.
“Gen. Soleimani was actively developing plans to attack American diplomats and service members in Iraq and throughout the region. This strike was aimed at deterring future Iranian attack plans.”
According to The Washington post, the airstrike was originally announced on Iraq’s state TV channel. Iraqi militia also announced that Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis, who is closely associated with attacks against the United States dating to 1982, was also killed in the airstrike.
President Trump also announced the airstrike via his Twitter account, without using any words, but rather a picture of the American flag.
Republican lawmakers, however, defended Trump’s decision and praised the US military through their Twitter accounts.
The Hill, meanwhile has speculated that the decision could be a step towards a proxy war in Iraq that will continue the seemingly never-ending conflicts in the region, which have been prevalent ever since the US first opted to occupy the region in 2003.