US President Donald Trump ordered the killing of the Commander of IRGC’s Quds Force General Qassem Suleimani who was martyred alongside Deputy Head of Iraq’s Hashd Shaabi Abu Mahdi Al-Muhandis in Baghdad “in a decisive defensive action to protect US personnel abroad,” the Pentagon said.
“General Soleimani was actively developing plans to attack American diplomats and service members in Iraq and throughout the region. General Soleimani and his Quds Force were responsible for the deaths of hundreds of American and coalition service members and the wounding of thousands more,” the Department of Defense said.
Following Suleimani’s martyrdom, Trump tweeted an image of the US flag without any further explanation.
“At the direction of the President, the US military has taken decisive defensive action to protect US personnel abroad by killing Qasem Soleimani, the head of the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps-Quds Force, a US-designated Foreign Terrorist Organization,” the Pentagon said.
“This strike was aimed at deterring future Iranian attack plans,” it added.
The Pentagon said that Soleimani had orchestrated attacks on coalition bases in Iraq over the past months, including on December 27.
“General Soleimani also approved the attacks on the US Embassy in Baghdad that took place this week,” it said, referring to Tuesday (December 31, 2019) protests at the US embassy in Baghdad after a strike that killed and injured dozens of Hashd Shaabi fighters in western Iraq.