Courtesy of Creative Commons
A U.S. drone strike on Jan. 3 has killed the Iranian General and terrorist threat Qasem Soleimani, at an airport in Baghdad, Iraq. The strike was in response to recent Iranian attacks of the U.S. embassy in Baghdad, as well as attacks on U.S. soldiers serving abroad in Iran.
Soleimani served as the leader of Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps and was considered as one of the most revered leaders of the Islamic Republic. Soleimani had been declared a terrorist by the U.S. because he was behind the Iranian military for decades and endorsed military actions against the United States. South Carolina Senator Lindsay Graham tweeted “Soleimani was one of the leaders of Iran, the largest state sponsor of terrorism. He was actively involved in planning attacks against American military and diplomatic personnel. He has American blood on his hands.”
The attack was ordered by U.S. President Donald Trump and endorsed by Secretary of State, Mike Pompeo. Pompeo states “He’s [Qasem Soleimani] got hundreds of American lives, and blood on his hands. What was sitting before us was his travels throughout the region, his efforts to make a significant strike against Americans. There would have been many Muslims killed as well, Iraqis and people in other countries. It was a strike that was aimed at disrupting that plot, disrupting further aggression and we hope, setting the conditions for de-escalation as well.”
Former Commander of the U.S. forces in Iraq and former Central Intelligence Agency director General David Petraeus states on the killing of Soleimani, “It is more significant than the killing of Osama Bin Laden.” The attack has found approval from many Republicans and former members of the military but is seen as an act of war and is hated by many Democrats. Actress Rose McGowan tweeted that the U.S.A. has disrespected Iran, its flag and its people, and stated that Americans are being held under a terrorist regime.
The attack has spawned a back and forth between the Iranians and Trump as well as his staff. Pompeo, has stressed that America has shown restraint from counter attacks as Iran has carried out many attacks against U.S. soldiers and our allies abroad. Following the attack, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani has promised that Iran will seek revenge for the drone strike. In response to the Iranian threats at retaliation, Trump tweeted, “The United States just spent Two Trillion Dollars on Military Equipment. We are the biggest and by far the BEST in the World! If Iran attacks an American base, or any American, we will be sending some of that brand new beautiful equipment their way…and without hesitation!”
This drone strike comes months after the killing of Iraqi leader of the Islamic State, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, and is a continuation of the U.S. involvement in the Middle East and our combat of terrorism. Trump has promised that in the event of Iranian retaliation for Soleimani’s death the United States will “quickly and fully strike back & perhaps in a disproportionate manner.”