by Spencer Neale | January 03, 2020 10:09 AM
by Spencer Neale
| January 03, 2020 10:09 AM
Supreme Leader of Iran Ayatollah Ali Khamenei has promised vengeance after his top general was killed during a drone strike led by U.S. forces in Baghdad, Iraq, on Thursday.
“With his departure and with God’s power, his work and path will not cease, and severe revenge awaits those criminals who have tainted their filthy hands with his blood and the blood of the other martyrs of last night’s incident,” said a statement released by Khamenei.
A drone strike outside the Baghdad International Airport killed the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps elite Quds force Gen. Qassem Soleimani, 62, and Iranian-backed Popular Mobilization Forces boss Jamal Jafaar Mohammed, 66, better known as Abu Mahdi al Muhandis to Western forces.
Former CIA official John Maguire once referred to Soleimani as “the single most powerful operative in the Middle East today.” He was instrumental in leading insurgents in Northern Iraq and Syria, where he helped support Syrian President Bashar Assad’s regime.
“Gen. Soleimani was actively developing plans to attack American diplomats and service members in Iraq and throughout the region,” said U.S. Secretary of Defense Mark Esper. “This strike was aimed at deterring future Iranian attack plans.”