US forces kill Iranian general Qassem Soleimani
Video: Top Iranian General Qassem Soleimani Reportedly Killed in Baghdad Airport Strike
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Quds Force Supreme Commander Qassem Soleimani has, according to Iraqi state TV (via the Associated Press), been killed in an airstrike in Baghdad. Militia members were hosting important guests at the time of the rocket attack. There was no immediate claim of responsibility.
So who is Soleimani?
The name Qassem Soleimani may not be well known in the United States, but the Major General and the actions he leads has had huge implications in the Middle East.
For months, protesters have occupied Baghdad’s iconic Tahrir Square to hold anti-government rallies. The protests have rocked Iran and threatened the stability of the pro-Iran government. In response, a brutal and deadly effort has taken shape to repress the youthful protesters. As commander of Iran’s overseas elite Quds Force, Soleimani has been repeatedly linked to the efforts to repress the protesters.
It is not Soleimani’s only effort to use force to influence politics. In October of 2019, he reportedly directly intervened to prevent the ousting of the Iraqi prime minister.
Born in Iran, Soleimani rose through the ranks of the Iranian military and eventually joined the covert Quds Force which has grown in significant power in the Middle East in the past decades.