In the early morning hours Friday, the U.S. engaged in a drone strike at Baghdad International Airport that led to the death of Iran’s top security and intelligence commander.
Leader of the Quds Force of the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps and key player in Tehran’s proxy wars in the Middle East, Major General Qassim Suleimani along with several Iranian backed Iraqi militia officials were killed when an American MQ-9 Reaper drone shot missiles at their convoy as it was leaving the airport, the New York Times reports.
The drone attack – which was authorized by President Trump – was ordered after an American defense contractor on an Iraqi military base was killed last week in a rocket attack.
CBS News’ national security correspondent David Martin reports that “The attack on the base which killed an American was carried out by an Iranian-backed militia which is directly controlled, according to U.S. intelligence, by Soleimani.”
According to the Associated Press, the U.S. Defense Department holds Soleimani responsible for the deaths of hundreds of Americans in the area and was killed because he “was actively developing plans to attack American diplomats and service members in Iraq and throughout the region.” The Defense Department also shared that they believed Soleimani was responsible for approving an attack on the U.S. Embassy in Iraq earlier this week.
The death of Soleimani seems to have escalated already rising tension between the U.S. and Iran.
Iranian supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei issued a statement following the death of Suleimani noting that after three days of mourning, “harsh retaliation is waiting.”
“His departure to God does not end his path or his mission, but a forceful revenge awaits the criminals who have his blood and the blood of the other martyrs last night on their hands,” Khamenei said.
According to the New York Times, officials are prepared for potential retaliatory cyber attacks and acts of terrorism on American interests and allies.
Kayla Koslosky has been the Editor of ChristianHeadlines.com since 2018. She has B.A. degrees in English and History and previously wrote for and was the managing editor of the Yellow Jacket newspaper. She has written on her blog since 2012 and has also contributed to IBelieve.com and Crosswalk.com.