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US kills Iran’s most powerful general in Baghdad airstrike

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Floridatexan

Floridatexan

BAGHDAD (AP) — The United States killed Iran’s top general and the architect of Tehran’s proxy wars in the Middle East in an airstrike at Baghdad’s international airport early on Friday, an attack that threatens to dramatically ratchet up tensions in the region.

Full Coverage: Iran
The targeted killing of Gen. Qassem Soleimani, the head of Iran’s elite Quds Force, could draw forceful Iranian retaliation against American interests in the region and spiral into a far larger conflict between the U.S. and Iran, endangering U.S. troops in Iraq, Syria and beyond.

The Defense Department said it killed Soleimani because he “was actively developing plans to attack American diplomats and service members in Iraq and throughout the region.” It also accused Soleimani of approving the attacks on the U.S. Embassy in Baghdad earlier this week.

Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei warned that a “harsh retaliation is waiting” for the U.S.

Iranian state TV carried a statement by Khamenei also calling Soleimani “the international face of resistance.” Khamenei declared three days of public mourning for the general’s death.

Also, an adviser to Iran’s President Hassan Rouhani warned President Donald Trump of retaliation from Tehran. “Trump through his gamble has dragged the U.S. into the most dangerous situation in the region,” Hessameddin Ashena wrote on the social media app Telegram. “Whoever put his foot beyond the red line should be ready to face its consequences.”

Iranian state television later in a commentary called Trump’s order to kill Soleimani “the biggest miscalculation by the U.S.” in the years since World War II. “The people of the region will no longer allow Americans to stay,” the TV said.

The airport strike also killed Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis, deputy commander of Iran-backed militias in Iraq known as the Popular Mobilization Forces, and five others, including the PMF’s airport protocol officer, Mohammed Reda, Iraqi officials said.

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

The dramatic attack comes at the start of a year in which Trump faces both a Senate trial following his impeachment by the U.S. House and a re-election campaign. It marks a potential turning point in the Middle East and represents a drastic change for American policy toward Iran after months of tensions.

Tehran shot down a U.S. military surveillance drone and seized oil tankers. The U.S. also blames Iran for a series of attacks targeting tankers, as well as a September assault on Saudi Arabia’s oil industry that temporarily halved its production.

The tensions take root in Trump’s decision in May 2018 to withdraw the U.S. from Iran’s nuclear deal with world powers, struck under his predecessor, Barack Obama.

The 62-year-old Soleimani was the target of Friday’s U.S. attack, which was conducted by an armed American drone, according to a U.S. official. His vehicle was struck on an access road near the Baghdad airport.

A senior Iraqi security official said the airstrike took place near the cargo area after Soleimani left his plane and joined al-Muhandis and others in a car. The official said the plane had arrived from either Lebanon or Syria.

Two officials from the PMF said Suleimani’s body was torn to pieces in the attack, while they did not find the body of al-Muhandis. A senior politician said Soleimani’s body was identified by the ring he wore.

The officials spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to give official statements.

It’s unclear what legal authority the U.S. relied on to carry out the attack. American presidents claim broad authority to act without the approval of the Congress when U.S. personnel or interests are facing an imminent threat. The Pentagon did not provide evidence to back up its assertion that Soleimani was planning new attacks against Americans.

Democratic Connecticut Sen. Richard Blumenthal said Trump owes a full explanation to Congress and the American people. “The present authorizations for use of military force in no way cover starting a possible new war. This step could bring the most consequential military confrontation in decades,” Blumenthal said.

But Trump allies were quick to praise the action. “To the Iranian government: if you want more, you will get more,” tweeted South Carolina Sen. Lindsey Graham.

For Iran, the killing represents more than just the loss of a battlefield commander, but also a cultural icon who represented national pride and resilience while facing U.S. sanctions. While careful to avoid involving himself in politics, Soleimani’s profile rose sharply as U.S. and Israeli officials blamed him for Iranian proxy attacks abroad.


Iran vowed “harsh retaliation” for a US airstrike near Baghdad's airport that killed Iran's top general. The Defense Department said it killed General Qassem Soleimani because he was actively planning attacks on US diplomats and service members. (Jan. 3)

While Iran’s conventional military has suffered under 40 years of American sanctions, the Guard has built up a ballistic missile program. It also can strike asymmetrically in the region through forces like Lebanon’s Hezbollah and Yemen’s Houthi rebels. The U.S. long has blamed Iran for car bombings and kidnappings it never claimed.

As the head of the Quds, or Jersualem, Force of Iran’s paramilitary Revolutionary Guard, Soleimani led all of its expeditionary forces and frequently shuttled between Iraq, Lebanon and Syria. Quds Force members have deployed into Syria’s long war to support President Bashar Assad, as well as into Iraq in the wake of the 2003 U.S. invasion that toppled dictator Saddam Hussein, a longtime foe of Tehran.

Soleimani rose to prominence by advising forces fighting the Islamic State group in Iraq and in Syria on behalf of the embattled Assad.

U.S. officials say the Guard under Soleimani taught Iraqi militants how to manufacture and use especially deadly roadside bombs against U.S. troops after the invasion of Iraq. Iran has denied that. Soleimani himself remains popular among many Iranians, who see him as a selfless hero fighting Iran’s enemies abroad.

Soleimani had been rumored dead several times, including in a 2006 airplane crash that killed other military officials in northwestern Iran and following a 2012 bombing in Damascus that killed top aides of Assad. Rumors circulated in November 2015 that Soleimani was killed or seriously wounded leading forces loyal to Assad as they fought around Syria’s Aleppo.

Soleimani’s killing follows the New Year’s Eve attack by Iran-backed militias on the U.S. Embassy in Baghdad. The two-day embassy attack, which ended Wednesday, prompted Trump to order about 750 U.S. soldiers deployed to the Middle East.

It also prompted Secretary of State Mike Pompeo to postpone his trip to Ukraine and four other countries “to continue monitoring the ongoing situation in Iraq and ensure the safety and security of Americans in the Middle East,” State Department spokeswoman Morgan Ortagus said Wednesday.

The breach at the embassy followed U.S. airstrikes Sunday that killed 25 fighters of the Iran-backed militia in Iraq, the Kataeb Hezbollah. The U.S. military said the strikes were in retaliation for last week’s killing of an American contractor in a rocket attack on an Iraqi military base that the U.S. blamed on the militia.

U.S. officials have suggested they were prepared to engage in further retaliatory attacks in Iraq.

“The game has changed,” Defense Secretary Mark Esper said Thursday, telling reporters that violent acts by Iran-backed Shiite militias in Iraq — including the Dec. 27 rocket attack that killed one American — will be met with U.S. military force.

___

Karam reported from Beirut. Associated Press writers Robert Burns and Zeke Miller in Washington, Jon Gambrell in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, Nasser Karimi in Tehran, Iran, and Bassem Mroue in Beirut contributed reporting.

https://apnews.com/5597ff0f046a67805cc233d5933a53ed

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zsomething


And this is where Trump's untrustworthiness becomes a liability. We need credibility to do things like this. Thanks to President Liar L. McLiarpants, we have none.

Soleimani is, without a doubt, a bad guy who the world is better off without. That doesn't mean it was tactically wise to blitz him, though. To paraphrase Sonny Barger, "I ain't no peace creep in any sense of the word," I've done violence and I often advocate it, but it's not always the wisest move in every case. And this is one of those cases.

For instance, Vladimir Putin is a terrible piece of shit and the best thing that could happen to him is somebody put a couple heavies with the snouts carved off right through that little pinhead cranial vault of his and scatter his evil brains like a toddler playing in oatmeal... but, if we did that, it'd likely result in a war that would cause the deaths of millions, plus untold destruction. Nothing is as simple as "bad guys should die." There are repercussions.

If we're very, very lucky, we'll get away with having assassinated Soleimani and the blowback from it will be minimal. This, however, is unlikely. I've seen Trump cultists already trying to claim "Iranians hated this guy, they love us for freeing them of him!," but, a few random Tweeters claiming to be Iranians aside, that just ain't true. Overall, Iran saw this guy as their champion and their protector. As one guy I saw said, "He's their John Wayne."

And, whether they like him or not, they're not going to take kindly to a foreign power just deciding to kill him off. I don't like Trump, I wouldn't mind if he fell down some stairs and landed on a rake, but I wouldn't want, say, France just deciding, "Hey, let's scrag that fat orange sonofabitch for 'em." Nope. That'd be an act of war.

Which is what this is. And it's an obvious attempt to divert attention away from new impeachment revelations, Deutsche Bank revelations, and other things. Trump thinks his re-election chances will be bigger if there's a war on, and he's willing to send y'all's grandsons off to die because he flat-out don't give a fuck aboutcha, nor anybody else but himself. He just doesn't want to be a "loser." His ego couldn't handle it. So, if this starts off a massive war? Small price to pay for him.

Iran is buddied up with Russia and China. Russia pretends to be our friend because they recognize Trump's need for "tough guys" to like him makes him a useful idiot for thimblehead Putin. But they absolutely do not have our best interests at heart. The exact opposite, actually. Putin would love nothing better than to embroil us in a war, especially now that we fucked up and alienated our allies. Kurds aren't gonna do the heavy lifting for us anymore.

Soleimani's bastard-ness aside, this move was a woeful miscalculation, tactically. I hope we'll get away with it. Ain't bettin' we will, though. The odds are too shit.

zsomething


Trump's bragging that "Iran never won a war." I guess he doesn't take into account that, although it ended in a stalemate, Iran achieved its goals in the Iran-Iraq war... and it did it even while Iraq was getting help from the United States! And it was one of the costliest wars in quite some time... which is not something we're gonna want to deal with, given the way Trump's already ballooned the national debt, and we're in major arrears to China.

This is another situation that benefits Putin more than anyone. Putin is playing chess. Trump is playing Hungry Hungry Hippos... and he doesn't even know the rules to that.

This country has no leadership. We have a figurehead who likes to have rallies and make proclamations and get attention for himself, but the fucker has not led once. He won the office quite some time ago... and he still has yet to assume it. Hell, half his positions aren't even filled... there's not even backup for his spastic-gut-instinct-about-things-he-isn't-interested-enough-or-smart-enough-to-understand. Fucking child playing in a sandbox, while Putin is working overtime to grease our skids on the way down... and a bunch of shit-stupid evangelicals are cheering it all on because they don't understand anything, anyway, and are more interested in their weird fantasies about some "second coming of Jesus" than they are in their own actual survival.

A comment here (https://www.dailykos.com/stories/2020/1/2/1909150/-What-Has-Trump-Got-Us-Into-With-Iran-Well-Let-s-take-a-Looksee?utm_campaign=trending#comment_75872546 ) sums up the situation better than I can.

grumpynerd
Jan 03, 2020 at 12:02:08 PM

I’ve been saying for years that people don’t appreciate how much tougher a nut to crack Iran is then Iraq.

Here’s another thing you didn't mention: if you want to attack Tehran, you’ve got to sail your carriers past 500 miles of Iranian coastline — which is presumably fortified because they saw what happened to Iraq and have had seventeen years to prepare to face the same thing. If you did get your carriers into position, you’ve got to fly your planes in a thousand mile round-trip sortie over enemy anti-aircraft emplacements. Even if the F-35C were *truly* capable at this point and works as promised, it doesn't have the range to hit Tehran from the Persian Gulf; it needs tankers to refuel, and we don’t have non-stealth tankers.

So that means winning by air and “shock and awe” is off the table. If you want to topple the regime, you’ve got to get boots on the ground to cover that distance. The terrain is mountainous and rugged, no good for rapid mechanized warfare but excellent for ambush and booby trapping. This presents a perfect opportunity for a meddling country to supply Iran to keep us bogged down and vulnerable. In case you didn’t guess, I’m talking about Russia. Russia and Iran both border the Caspian Sea, which is landlocked and the US Navy has no access to whatsoever.

And if (let’s say “once”) we win the conflict, there is nobody in Iran who will welcome us as liberators, even for a brief period. In Iran the overwhelming religious and ethnic majorities are in charge. So we can expect an even harder occupation than Iraq, again a situation Russia will exploit.

We might conceivably score some impressive-looking “wins” early on, but an invasion of Iran is bound to be catastrophically bad for the US. So I think what we’ll see is a “warm war” — hotter than a cold war, with each side sniping at each other with non-conventional tactics and sabotage, but neither willing to escalate until their hand is forced. Both sides will try to mobilize world opinion, but neither is likely to gain much sympathy.

Who’s the big winner in this scenario? Russia. Russia can’t raise it’s prominence and importance in the world under its current system, but it can drag us down.

zsomething


Dude spells out the facts of what Trump's done here... and what the ramifications will be. Trump has handed the Russians a free-space in world bingo, essentially.



PkrBum

PkrBum
2017 war with Russia
2018 war with N.Korea
2019 war with China/Syria
2020 war with Iran

0 fer. Our exposure and drone bombings are significantly down in the ME. You suck at this.

Telstar

Telstar
PkrBum wrote: Given the existence as uttered forth in the public works of Puncher and Wattmann of a personal God quaquaquaqua with white beard quaquaquaqua outside time without extension who from the heights of divine apathia divine athambia divine aphasia loves us dearly with some exceptions for reasons unknown but time will tell and suffers like the divine Miranda with those who for reasons unknown but time will tell are plunged in torment plunged in fire whose fire flames if that continues and who can doubt it will fire the firmament that is to say blast hell to heaven so blue still and calm so calm with a calm which even though intermittent is better than nothing but not so fast and considering what is more that as a result of the labours left unfinished crowned by the Acacacacademy of Anthropopopometry of Essy-in-Possy of Testew and Cunard it is established beyond all doubt all other doubt than that which clings to the labours of men that as a result of the labours unfinished of Testew and Cunard it is established as hereinafter but not so fast for reasons unknown that as a result of the public works of Puncher and Wattmann it is established beyond all doubt that in view of the labours of Fartov and Belcher left unfinished for reasons unknown of Testew and Cunard left unfinished it is established what many deny that man in Possy of Testew and Cunard that man in Essy that man in short that man in brief in spite of the strides of alimentation and defecation is seen to waste and pine waste and pine and concurrently simultaneously what is more for reasons unknown in spite of the strides of physical culture the practice of sports such as tennis football running cycling swimming flying floating riding gliding conating camogie skating tennis of all kinds dying flying sports of all sorts autumn summer winter winter tennis of all kinds hockey of all sorts penicilline and succedanea in a word I resume and concurrently simultaneously for reasons unknown to shrink and dwindle in spite of the tennis I resume flying gliding golf over nine and eighteen holes tennis of all sorts in a word for reasons unknown in Feckham Peckham Fulham Clapham namely concurrently simultaneously what is more for reasons unknown but time will tell to shrink and dwindle I resume Fulham Clapham in a word the dead loss per caput since the death of Bishop Berkeley being to the tune of one inch four ounce per caput approximately by and large more or less to the nearest decimal good measure round figures stark naked in the stockinged feet in Connemara in a word for reasons unknown no matter what matter the facts are there and considering what is more much more grave that in the light of the labours lost of Steinweg and Peterman it appears what is more much more grave that in the light the light the light of the labours lost of Steinweg and Peterman that in the plains in the mountains by the seas by the rivers running water running fire the air is the same and then the earth namely the air and then the earth in the great cold the great dark the air and the earth abode of stones in the great cold alas alas in the year of their Lord six hundred and something the air the earth the sea the earth abode of stones in the great deeps the great cold an sea on land and in the air I resume for reasons unknown in spite of the tennis the facts are there but time will tell I resume alas alas on on in short in fine on on abode of stones who can doubt it I resume but not so fast I resume the skull to shrink and waste and concurrently simultaneously what is more for reasons unknown in spite of the tennis on on the beard the flames the tears the stones so blue so calm alas alas on on the skull the skull the skull the skull in Connemara in spite of the tennis the labours abandoned left unfinished graver still abode of stones in a word I resume alas alas abandoned unfinished the skull the skull in Connemara in spite of the tennis the skull alas the stones Cunard tennis... the stones... so calm... Cunard...

polecat

polecat
US kills Iran’s most powerful general in Baghdad airstrike Eniph110

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