Sources in the U.S. Department of Defense and Administration said that President Donald Trump ordered the assassination of the head of Iran’s Al-Quds special unit, General Qasem Soleimani, contrary to the latest intelligence and Pentagon decision. This was reported by The New York Times on January 5.
According to sources, at first Trump refused to remove Soleimani and instructed the U.S. Air Force to raid the camp of the Shiite organization “Kataib Hezbollah” in Iraqi al-Qa’im. That day, Dec. 30, 25 militia members died and 50 others were injured. All this provoked mass protests outside the U.S. embassy in Baghdad.
According to the newspaper’s interlocutors, the Pentagon representatives were surprised by the option that Trump chose – according to the intelligence on December 30, nothing reprehensible was happening in the Middle East.
The U.S. Defense Department considered that large-scale attacks on the American military, allegedly prepared by Suleimani, were not inevitable. According to sources, Iranian spiritual leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei suggested the general to return to Tehran without giving consent to the realization of anti-American plans.
On the night of January 3, the United States launched a missile attack on Baghdad airport, which killed Soleimani. Among the victims of the bombing were Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis, deputy commander of the Iraqi Shiite militia Al Hashd al-Shabi, and Muhammad al-Jabiri, head of the militia’s public relations department. Iranian Ambassador to Iraq Iraj Masjidi said a total of 10 people were killed in the strike, including the general’s guards.
Trump gave the order for the strike. Commenting on the decision, the American leader called Soleimani “the number one terrorist in the world”. According to him, he “planned imminent attacks” on the Americans. According to the Bloomberg agency, Trump gave the order to liquidate the head of the Iranian general at the end of December. The decision was allegedly made after the attack on the American military base in Iraq, carried out by the Iranian militia, which resulted in the death of a U.S. army contractor.
The Iranian authorities promised to respond to the actions of the American side.