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Top Iran commander killed in US strike, Country's leader vows for 'severe revenge'

Iran's supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei vowed "severe revenge" after the United States killed the commander of the Islamic republic's Quds Force, General Qasem Soleimani, in Baghdad on Friday.

Saima Siddiqui

Saima SiddiquiBy Saima Siddiqui

Published on 3 Jan 2020 7:03 AM GMT

Top Iran commander killed in US strike, Countrys leader vows for severe revenge
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Tehran: Iran's supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei vowed to take "sever revenge" for the killing of the commander of Iran's powerful Revolutionary Guards, General Qasem Soleimani on the orders of US President Donald Trump in an airstrike on the coutry that also killed the deputy chief of Iraq's powerful Hashed al-Shaabi paramilitary force.

General Soleimani, the head of Iran's elite al-Quds force and architect of its regional security apparatus, was killed following a US airstrike at Baghdad's international airport on Friday. The Pentagon confirmed the death of Soleimani in Iraq, saying the strike was carried out at the direction of Trump.

The Pentagon on Friday said, the US President Donald Trump had ordered for the US airstrike in Iraq that killed General Qasem Soleimani in a "decisive defensive action" to protect US personnel abroad and deter future attacks being planned by Iran.

ALSO READ: Iran’s Khamenei condemns US ‘malice’ over Iraq strikes

Meanwhile, madden by the demise of General Qasem Soleimani, Iran's supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei vowed to take "severe revenge" from US while declaring 3-days of mourning on the death of the head of the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps-Quds Force.

"Martyrdom was the reward for his ceaseless efforts in all these years," Khamenei said on his Farsi-language Twitter account in reference to Soleimani, also declaring three days of mourning.

"With him gone, God willing, his work and his path will not be stopped, but severe revenge awaits the criminals who bloodied their foul hands with his blood and other martyrs' in last night's incident."

Following Soleimani's death, Trump did not say anything immediately, except for tweeting an image of the US flag.

The strike comes days after Trump threatened Tehran after Iraqi supporters of pro-Iranian regime factions laid siege to the US embassy in Baghdad, following deadly American air strikes on a hardline Hashed faction.

The Pentagon alleged that the strike was aimed at deterring future Iranian attack plans.

It said that General Soleimani had "orchestrated" attacks on coalition bases in Iraq over the last several months - including the attack on December 27 - culminating in the death and wounding of additional American and Iraqi personnel.

General Soleimani also approved the attacks on the US embassy in Baghdad that took place this week, it said.

ALSO READ: Trump threatens Iran over US embassy attack but rules out war

The United States will continue to take all necessary action to protect our people and our interests wherever they are around the world, it said.

Trump's decision in this regard was supported by his former cabinet colleague, Indian American Nikki Haley, the former US Ambassador to the United Nations.

Qasem Soleimani was an arch terrorist with American blood on his hands. His demise should be applauded by all who seek peace and justice. Proud of President Trump for doing the strong and right thing, she tweeted.

The defensive actions the US has taken against #Iran & its proxies are consistent with clear warnings they have received, Senator Marco Rubio said in a tweet. They chose to ignore these warnings because they believed @POTUS was constrained from acting by our domestic political divisions. They badly miscalculated, he said.

In a statement, Defence Priorities Senior Fellow Lt. Col (rtd) Daniel L. Davis, alleged that Soleimani had a lot of blood on his hands.

"Following this latest action, every possible precaution should be taken to safeguard US military forces in Iraq, Syria, and throughout the region, who remain vulnerable to retaliatory strikes. The best way to keep US forces safe is to remove them from the region, he said.

Senator Jim Risch, chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, Congratulated Trump on his decisive action and the successful outcome.

Qasem Suleimani was responsible for the deaths of hundreds of Americans and his death presents an opportunity for Iraq to determine its own future free from Iranian control, Risch said.

As I have previously warned the Iranian government, they should not mistake our reasonable restraint in response to their previous attacks as weakness. The U.S. will always vigorously defend our interests and allies in the face of terrorist conduct and provocations, Risch said.

Ties between the US and Iran have deteriorated since Washington pulled out of the landmark nuclear deal with Tehran in 2018. It then reimposed crippling sanctions on Iran, aiming to choke off its oil exports.

ALSO READ: US strikes on Iran-backed militia in Iraq, Syria killed 25

(PTI)

Saima Siddiqui

Saima Siddiqui

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