By Vox. On Thursday night, the Pentagon announced that the United States killed Maj. Gen. Qassem Suleimani, the head of Iran’s paramilitary forces, in an airstrike in Iraq “at the direction of the President.”
The strike that took out Suleimani also reportedly killed the leader of Kataib Hezbollah, an Iranian proxy militia in Iraq that has repeatedly attacked US and allied forces and recently launched rockets at a US military base. Those attacks killed an American contractor, which led the United States to respond and kill 25 operatives in attacks in Iraq and Syria. In separate operations, US forces have also captured and arrested leaders of other important Iraqi militias with close ties to Iran.
The killing of Suleimani, the long-time head of Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps Quds Force (IRGC-QF) is likely to prove a watershed in Washington’s relations with Iraq and Iran and will substantially affect the overall US position in the Middle East. The blowback may be huge, and much depends on how well prepared the United States is for Iran’s response and that of its many proxies in the Middle East. (Read more from “U.S. Kills Top Iranian Military Leader in Airstrike” HERE)
Oil Prices Jump After Iran Military Leader Killed in U.S. Strike
By CNN. Oil prices pulled higher Friday morning after a top Iranian general was killed in a US airstrike at Baghdad’s airport ordered by President Donald Trump.
Futures for Brent crude, a global benchmark, jumped 2.9% to $68.16 per barrel during Asian trading hours on Friday. US oil futures gained 2.8%, reaching $62.86 per barrel. That puts both on pace right now for their biggest daily gains in about a month, according to Refinitiv data.
The Pentagon confirmed in a statement that the US military killed Qasem Soleimani, the commander of Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC) Quds Force unit, in the attack at Baghdad International Airport. It said the strike was aimed at “deterring future Iranian attack plans.” (Read more from “Oil Prices Jump After Iran Military Leader Killed in U.S. Strike” HERE)
Iran Vows ‘Harsh Retaliation’ After U.S. Airstrike Kills Iranian Gen. Qassem Soleimani
By Fox News. Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei on Friday warned that a “harsh retaliation is waiting” for the U.S. after an airstrike on an airport in Baghdad killed Iranian Gen. Qassem Soleimani, the head of Iran’s elite Quds Force.
The Iranian state TV carried a statement by Khamenei who also called Soleimani “the international face of resistance.” Khamenei declared three days of public mourning for the general’s death.
The Iranian foreign minister warned that the U.S. would bear all the consequences of the “foolish” military attack, claiming Soleimani’s assassination would only escalate tensions in the region given that he was “THE most effective force” fighting terrorism carried out by the Islamic State.
Javad Zarif, the foreign minister of Islamic Republic of Iran, said on Twitter that “The US’ act of international terrorism, targeting & assassinating General Soleimani—THE most effective force fighting Daesh (ISIS), Al Nusrah, Al Qaeda et al—is extremely dangerous & a foolish escalation.”
“The US bears responsibility for all consequences of its rogue adventurism,” he said.
The US' act of international terrorism, targeting & assassinating General Soleimani—THE most effective force fighting Daesh (ISIS), Al Nusrah, Al Qaeda et al—is extremely dangerous & a foolish escalation.
The US bears responsibility for all consequences of its rogue adventurism.
— Javad Zarif (@JZarif) January 3, 2020
(Read more from “Iran Vows ‘Harsh Retaliation’ After U.S. Airstrike Kills Iranian Gen. Qassem Soleimani” HERE)