From RT.com, Jan.3, 2019:
“The head of Iran’s elite Quds Force, Qassem Soleimani, has been killed in a strike near Baghdad International Airport, along with senior leaders of the Iraqi Shia militia, the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps has confirmed.
News of the commander’s demise was carried by Iran’s semi-official Fars news agency, citing the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC).
Earlier, Iraq’s Popular Mobilization Forces (PMF) blamed the US and Tel Aviv for Soleimani’s takedown.
“The American and Israeli enemy is responsible for killing the mujahideen Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis and Qassem Soleimani,” said Ahmed al-Assadi, a spokesman for Iraq’s PMF, as cited by Reuters.
Al-Muhandis is the deputy chief of the PMF, the umbrella group of Shia militias integrated into the Iraq’s armed forces, which was blamed for the siege of the US Embassy in Baghdad earlier this week.
US Marines also reportedly captured two other influential Iraqi militia figures around the time of the strikes – Qais Khazali, head of the paramilitary group Asaib Ahl al-Haq, and Badr Organization leader Hadi al-Amiri – in a neighborhood of Baghdad, according to Al Arabiya.
‘US killing of Iranian commander on Iraqi soil violates terms of US stationing troops in the country – Iraqi PM’, RT.com, 3 Jan, 2020
“He stressed that the US had violated the terms under which American troops are allowed to stay in Iraq with the purpose of training Iraqi troops and fighting the jihadist organization Islamic State (IS, formerly ISIS). He added that the killing may trigger a major escalation of violence and result in “a devastating war in Iraq” that will spill out into the region.
The Iraqi government has called on the parliament to hold an emergency session to discuss an appropriate response, Mahdi said.”
‘Killing of Quds commander is another sign of US frustration and weakness in the region – Iran’s Rouhani’, 3 Jan, 2020, RT.com
““Soleimani’s martyrdom will make Iran more decisive to resist America’s expansionism and to defend our Islamic values. With no doubt, Iran and other freedom-seeking countries in the region will take revenge,” Rouhani said in a statement, adding that the killing will only strengthen Iran’s resolve in resisting the US.
Similar sentiment has been voiced by several top-ranking figures in Tehran in the wake of the assassination of the Quds commander.
Iranian officials say the US targeted the IRGC and Soleimani in particular for the role they played in defeating the jihadist group Islamic State in Iraq and Syria. This helped Iran gain significant political influence in Iraq and shape Baghdad’s policies.
The Trump administration has chosen a confrontational path against Iran, claiming the US “maximum pressure” campaign was necessary to curb its regional power.”
From irandailyonline.com Dec. 3:
“In a statement on Friday, Ayatollah Khamenei said the “cruelest people on earth” assassinated the “honorable” commander who “courageously fought for years against the evils and bandits of the world”, presstv.com reported.
His demise will not stop his mission, but the criminals who have the blood of General Soleimani and other martyrs of the Thursday night attack on their hands must await a tough revenge, the Leader added.”
““The demise of our selfless and dear general is bitter, but the continued fight and achievement of the final victory will make life bitterer for the murderers and criminals,” he added.
In his statement, the Leader also offered condolences to the Iranian nation and General Soleimani’s family, and declared three days of national mourning over the tragedy.”
‘U.S. Will Come To Regret Its Assassination of Qassim Soleimani’, Jan. 3, 2019, moonofalabma.org (a few outtakes, but it’s laden w/ photos you might wish to see)
“Today the U.S. declared war on Iran and Iraq.
War is what it will get.
The Quds force is the external arm of the Iranian Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps. Soleiman was responsible for all relations between Iran and political and militant movements outside of Iran. Hajji Qassim advised the Lebanese Hisbullah during the 2006 war against Israel. His support for Iraqi groups enabled them to kick the U.S. invaders out of Iraq. He was the man responsible for, and successful in, defeating the Islamic State in iraq and Syria. In 2015 Soleimani traveled to Moscow and convinced Russia to intervene in Syria. His support for the Houthi in Yemen enabled them to withstand the Saudi attackers.
Soleimani had arrived in Baghdad on a normal flight from Lebanon. He did not travel in secret. He was picked up at the airport by Abu Mahdi al-Muhandes, the deputy commander of the al-Hashd al-Shaabi, an official Iraqi security force under the command of the Iraqi Prime Minister. The two cars they traveled in were destroyed in the U.S. attack. Both men and their drivers and guards died.
The U.S. created two martyrs who will now become the models and idols for tens of millions of youth in the Middle East.”
“Moqtada al-Sadr, the unruly Shia cleric who commands millions of followers in Iraq, has given orders to reactivate his military branch ‘Jaish al-Imam al-Mahdi’. Between 2004 and 2008 the Mahdi forces fought the U.S. occupation of Iraq. They will do so again.
The outright assassination of a commander of Soleimani’s weight demands an Iranian reaction of at least a similar size. All U.S. generals or high politicians traveling in the Middle East or elsewhere will now have to watch their back. There will be no safety for them anywhere.”
“Trump will learn that killing the enemy is the easy part of a war. The difficulties come after that happened.
In 2018 Soleimani publicly responded to a tweet in which Trump had threatened Iran:
“Mr. Trump, the gambler! […] You are well aware of our power and capabilities in the region. You know how powerful we are in asymmetrical warfare. Come, we are waiting for you. We are the real men on the scene, as far as you are concerned. You know that a war would mean the loss of all your capabilities. You may start the war, but we will be the ones to determine its end.”
Since May 2019 the U.S. deployed at least 14,800 additional soldiers to the Middle East. Over the last three days airborne elements and special forces followed. The U.S.has clearly planned for an escalation.
Soleimani will be replaced by Brigadier General Ismail Ghani, a veteran of the Iran-Iraq war who has for decades been active in the Quds Force and has fought against ISIS in Syria. He is an officer of equal stature and capability.”
‘Iran Loses Its Indispensable Man; The killing of Qassem Soleimani robs the regime of the central figure for its ambitions in the Middle East’, January 2, 2020, Andrew Exum; theatlantic.com (h/t Greyson Smythe) (the title says it all)
“The United States has killed Major General Qassem Soleimani, the commander of the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps’s Quds Force. The United States is now in a hot war with Iran after having waged war via proxies for the past several decades.
This doesn’t mean war, it will not lead to war, and it doesn’t risk war. None of that. It is war.”
Elija Magnier had Tweeted yesterday:
“I spoke to the person who spoke to #QassemSoleimani last before leaving to #Iraq from #Syria. I’ll share some insights tomorrow (no newspaper today) in my forthcoming article.
But had linked to an earlier piece on Jan. 2: ‘How the US was hoist by its own petard in Iraq and the wishful thinking of its thinktanks’ (his Twitter account is blazing hot.) He opens with these paragraphs:
“During the first weeks of protests in Iraq, a dozen Iraqis burned down the Iranian consulates in Najaf, Karbalaa and Baghdad. Western analysts based their analysis on social media images and YouTube videos, particularly those clips which showed protestors chanting “Iran Barra..Barra. Baghdad Tibqa Hurrah” (Iran out, Baghdad remains free). Analysts and mainstream media —primarily people sitting thousands of kilometres away from Iraq who have never visited the country, and never mixed with the population long enough to understand the dynamics of the country and how Iraqis really think – reflected and amplified the opinion that Iraq has become hostile to Iran.
However, though every wish can come true, yet prevailing winds can defy our hopes and expectations. Analysts’ wishful thinking overwhelmed their sense of reality, notably the possibility of realities invisible to them. They fell into the same trap of misinformation and ignorance that has shaped western opinion since the occupation of Iraq in 2003. The invasion of Iraq was justified by the presence of “Weapons of Mass Destruction” which never existed. An information war was waged against Syria with the goal of overthrowing President Bashar al-Assad. The US supported terrorist groups like ISIS and al-Qaeda for this purpose. Mainstream media coverage of the war in Syria- mainly through WhatsApp, social media, Skype, activists and jihadists- unfolded at the expense of destroying its own credibility, and that of western journalism in general.
The shameful irresponsibility of these reporters and analysts became obvious to a large part of the public. There was no accountability for mass media deceptions: virtually all western media were in the same boat, totally lacking the necessary professionalism. Western media became a mockery of the noble and demanding profession of journalism and its mandate to report and share information without manipulation. Journalists were forced to follow newspaper editorial policies and the political views of their owner- he who pays the piper calls the tune!”
‘Malice, stupidity of US terrorist forces to further strengthen tree of resistance in region: FM Zarif’, January 3, 2020, tehrantimes.com
“Among the believers are men true to what they promised Allah. Among them is he who has fulfilled his vow [to the death], and among them is he who awaits [his chance]. And they did not alter [the terms of their commitment] by any alteration,” reads the statement as reported by the Foreign Ministry website.”
““The Foreign Ministry of the Islamic Republic of Iran will tap into all its political, legal, and international capacities to implement the decisions made by the Supreme National Security Council in order to hold the criminal and terrorist regime of the US accountable for this blatant crime,” he added.”
(cross-posted at caucus99percnt.com)