US Kills Top Iranian General and Hezbollah Militia Leader

 In Foreign, Military

Iran got a first hand taste of what happens when they attack a US embassy under President Trump. Drone strikes took out 5 officials on Thursday night at Baghdad Airport.  Among them was Iranian General Qassam Soleimani, head of the Qods (IRGC) force, and Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis, head of the Kataib Hezbollah Militia (Military.com)

They are not dealing with an appeasing president

Both men were heavily involved in the attack on the US Embassy on Tuesday. Soleimani plotted and planned attacks on the US for decades. The Kataib militia leader was present. These were NOT protests, it was a calculated attack.

“Don’t underestimate the hatred and vitriol that senior U.S. military officials with experience in Iraq have toward Qassem Soleimani. He has the blood of hundreds of American troops on his hands. The consequences of killing Soleimani ― the most influential Middle East military official for decades ― cannot be underestimated.” Mara Karlin, former Defense official

Celebrating the death of a terrorist

Iraqis celebrated the news in Baghdad’s Tahrir Square. They sang and danced through the streets at 4 a.m..

“If you wonder, these are the true Iraqi protesters… Soleimani’s death: – shatters IRGC’s morale of more than ANY EVENT – raises morale of #IranProtests more than ANY EVENT. Since #IranProtests is path to change, & IRGC the main obstacle, his death speeds up regime’s demise… His death is bigger than that of Bin-Laden’s: – Bin-Laden had no role in operations; Soleimani was the main figure behind operations, – Bin-Laden’s death could not change trajectory of Al-Qaeda’s survival, whereas Soleimani’s astronomically accelerates regime’s demise.” Saeid Sajadi

Soleimani was responsible for the deaths of over 600 American troops between 2003 and 2011. He massacred hundreds of Iranian protesters, and even Iraqis hated him.

The new Qods leader is Esmail Qaani who is no stranger to the US.

What’s Next?

Iran has vowed to retaliate, but after this demonstration of precision air strikes, they’ll want to be sure they measure their response. (Military Times) Anyone can be taken out at any time. SecDef Mark Esper stated that the US was prepared to meet violent acts with US Military force.

“They have to be careful about it, as we have seen over the last six months, they are not shy. Whether it is tanker attacks, drone attacks, they will likely do something, but they will have to calculate how far they want to go… As far as an all-out war, neither side really wants it. It is not in the interest of either party to do it. There is too much to lose. The Iranians have a lot of chess pieces on the table.”  Admiral William Fallon (Ret) former head of CENTCOM. 

As for reaction here at home: Pelosi is said to be angry that she wasn’t “briefed.”  She says that a lot. But her big mouth and the leaking tendencies of her Democrat cronies precludes them from the loop. Republicans cheered the move.

We have no idea what will come in the wake of this, but to date, this is Trump’s most important decision.

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