President Donald Trump ordered the assassination of Iranian General Qasem Soleimani in a drone strike early Friday. General Soleimani was regarded as the second most powerful figure behind Iran’s supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei.
The 62-year-old was responsible for Iranian military operations in the Middle East as head of Iran’s elite Quds Force.
He had been one of the terrorist targets on the radar of the White House. The Americans seized the opportunity to eliminate General when he was leaving Baghdad Airport. Seven other members of his militia were also killed in the drone attack.
The US has welcomed the news of the death of Qasem Soleimani. A statement by Pentagon revealed that Soleimani had been “developing plans to attack American diplomats and service members in Iraq and throughout the region”
Allies of the Iranian government received the news of the death of General Soleimani with shock and expressed their disgust for the action of the US government.
Iraq’s Prime Minister Adel Abdul Mahdi condemned the “assassination” of Soleimani as a “dangerous escalation” of regional tensions.
Russia said the attack was a “murder” and a “reckless step” by the US.
Lebanon’s Iran-backed Hezbollah group called for Soleimani’s death to be avenged.
Democrats were also critical. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said the move risked “dangerous escalation” and suggested Congress should have been consulted.
The Iranian government will be releasing an official statement to address the action of the American government as Iran vows ‘severe revenge’ over the general’s killing.
This action by the US government is sure to escalate tensions between Iran and its allies.