Top Iran Military General Qassim Suleimani, commander of Iran’s revolutionary guard Corps -Quds Force, was killed along with six others including the head of Kataib Hezbollah, Abu Mehdi Al-Muhandis, deputy commander of the PMF, Iraqi Popular Mobilization Forces, who was reportedly present during the storming of the U.S. embassy in Baghdad on Dec 31st, was killed alongside General Suleimani. Reportedly Hezbollah’s deputy leader was among those killed by a U.S. airstrike in Baghdad International airport, The Pentagon confirmed Friday, the strike was ordered by President Trump.
The White House shared a statement saying General Suleimani was killed at the direction of President Trump, and U.S. military had taken decisive defensive action to protect U.S. personnel abroad by killing Suleimani head of the Iranian Revolutionary Guard-Corps Quds Force, U.S. designated terrorist organization, whose forces were actively developing plans to attack American diplomats and service members in Iraq, and throughout the region. -WH statement
Suleimani was considered to be the most important General in Iran, the right hand of Iran’s leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenel. Both men, General Qassim Suleimani and Abu Mehdi Al-Muhandis, were labeled terrorists by the United States for organizing attacks and killing hundreds of American Troops in Iraq and Syria as well as strengthening Iran’s forces in The Middle East.
Soon after The U.S. strike, The Ayatollah released a statement via Twitter saying “a severe retaliation awaits murderers who have the blood of Soleimani and that of other martyrs.” Hezbollah shared their own statement saying “retaliation is the responsibility of resistance worldwide.” In response to the killing of Soleimani, this prompted the U.S. embassy in Baghdad and U.S. State Department to urge its citizens to “depart Iraq immediately” by air and land for fear of retaliation, and potential for escalation between Iran Military and U.S. Military forces.
The U.S. response to both the Embassy attack and Friday’s successful strike against top Iranian military leaders is to send additional U.S. Troops, some of which have already arrived in the area.
An estimated 100 U.S. Marines, as well as the deployment of at least 750 American troops, and an estimated 4,000 troops known as DRB, Division Ready Brigade all ready for deployment, including a U.S. Air-Force squadron reportedly deployed to the region to secure the Embassy, support U.S. troops, and protect American personnel.
An estimated 5,000 U.S. troops remain in Iraq out of an estimated 60,000 total in the region, with an estimated 14,000 more to be deployed due to increased tensions with Iran. As we await an official statement from President Trump this morning, we can conclude that tensions between Iran and the U.S in the Middle East, have risen to unprecedented levels in the last few days and hours with potential for worsening of existing conflicts in The Middle East in Iraq, Syria, Lebanon, Yemen, Afghanistan and the border with Israel.