Qasem Soleimani was 62 years old when he was killed by the US airstrike in Baghdad Iraq. He was at the forefront in implementing Iran’s military operations in the Middle East as the head of Quds Force.
US President Donald Trump accused him of being “directly and indirectly responsible for the deaths of millions of people.”
Analysts have observed that this is one killing which has strained relations between Tehran and Washington DC.
Under the General’s leadership, pro-Iranian militant groups such as Hezbollah in Lebanon had been strengthened. In fact this group had expanded its operations into Syria and Iraq.
Iran Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei announced 3 days of national mourning and announced that “severe revenge awaits the criminals behind the attack.”
General Soleimani was seen as the 2nd most powerful person in Iran just behind the Ayatollah Khamenei. His Quds Force (elite unit in the Iranian Revolutionary Guards) reported directly to the Ayatollah and many considered Soleimani to be an hero at the national level.
That notwithstanding, the USA considers General Soleimani and his Quad Force as terrorists and they are responsible for the killing of hundreds of US citizens.
Elsewhere, global oil prices have shoot up by 4% following the attack on the Iranian General Soleimani.
General Soleimani was a powerful figure and the brain behind Iran’s vast ambition in the Middle East. Analysts add that he was the real foreign minister in matters of war and peace.
As commander of an elite special force, he directed the operations of numerous militias across Middle East.
In Iran, Commander Soleimani had a lot of political influence. He was only second to the Supreme Leader Ayatollah.
He is considered to be the mastermind of the war in Syria, conflict in Iraq, battle against the Islamic State and many other battles in the region.
Responses from Tehran:
President of Iran, Hassan Rouhan said:
The flag of General Soleimani in defense of the country's territorial integrity and the fight against terrorism and extremism in the region will be raised, and the path of resistance to US excesses will continue. The great nation of Iran will take revenge for this heinous crime.— Hassan Rouhani (@HassanRouhani) January 3, 2020
The Foreign Minister for Islamic Republic of Iran said:
The US' act of international terrorism, targeting & assassinating General Soleimani—THE most effective force fighting Daesh (ISIS), Al Nusrah, Al Qaeda et al—is extremely dangerous & a foolish escalation.— Javad Zarif (@JZarif) January 3, 2020
The US bears responsibility for all consequences of its rogue adventurism.