06 January 2020 - 12:05
News ID: 448417
A
Ex-Iranian DM:
Former Iranian Defense Minister Brigadier General Ahmad Vahidi warned that the US assassination of Commander of IRGC Qods Force Lieutenant General Qassem Soleimani who spearheaded anti-terrorism fight in the region pursues no goal but resurrection of the ISIL.

RNA - "They martyred a senior military commander who had stood against the unharnessed terrorism of the ISIL, and they (the Americans) are after revival of the ISIL," General Vahidi, who is currently the president of the Supreme National Defense University, said on Saturday night.

He described the Americans as uninvited and occupying forces who act against security agreements, saying that naturally, the Iraqi people will not accept to be called terrorists on their lands by the occupiers.

General Qassem Soleimani has been martyred by the US aircraft after lifetime efforts, the IRGC said in a statement early Friday morning.

The airstrike also martyred Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis, deputy commander of Iraq's Popular Mobilization Forces (PMF), or Hashad al-Shaabi. The PMF media arm said the two were martyred in an American airstrike that targeted their vehicle on the road to the airport.

Five Iranian and five Iraqi militaries were martyred by missiles fired by the US drone at Baghdad International Airport.

The Pentagon confirmed the attack in a statement.

The attack came amid tensions that started by the US attack on PMF units that killed 28 Iraqi popular forces. A day later, Iraqi people attacked the US embassy in Baghdad. On Wednesday President Donald Trump ordered about 750 US soldiers deployed to the Middle East.

US officials earlier suggested they were to engage in further retaliatory attacks in Iraq.

The developments also represent a major downturn in Iraq-US relations that could further undermine US influence in the region and American troops in Iraq and weaken Washington’s hand in its pressure campaign against Iran.

US President Donald Trump was vacationing on his estate in Palm Beach, Florida, but sent out a tweet of an American flag.

The attack represents a dramatic escalation by the US toward Iran after months of tensions. The tensions take root in Trump’s decision in May 2018 to withdraw the US from Iran’s nuclear deal with world powers, struck under his predecessor.

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