On January 3, Major General Qassem Soleimani, the commander of the Qods Force of Iran’s Islamic Revolution Guards Corps, and Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis, the second-in-command of Iraq’s Popular Mobilization Units (PMU) were killed by US strikes on the Iraqi capital of Bahdad. The US strike that also killed several others Iraqi and Iranian commanders caused a regional crisis and put the entire Middle East on the edge of a new open military conflict.
The attack was carried out under a direct order from US President Donald Trump.
In an official statement on the matter, the Defense Department claimed that “General Soleimani was actively developing plans to attack American diplomats and service members in Iraq and throughout the region.”
It claimed that Soleimnani “had orchestrated attacks on coalition bases in Iraq over the last several months – including the attack on December 27th – culminating in the death and wounding of additional American and Iraqi personnel.” The Pentagon also blamed General Soleimani for riots near “the U.S. Embassy in Baghdad” that was caused by the recent US strike on PMU positions in Syria and Iraq.
The US military accidentally forgot to mention that the PMU and the Qods Force, led by Soleimani, played a key role in the defeat of ISIS in both Iraq and Syria. The PMU is an official branch of the Iraqi Armed Forces.
Supreme Leader of Iran Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei said those who assassinated General Soleimani must await a tough revenge. Key powers and groups involved in the Middle East standoff, including the US, Israel, the PMU, the Houthis (Ansar Allah), and Saudi Arabia, put their forces on heightened alert awaiting an Iranian retaliatory move.