Airstrikes late on Friday night reportedly took out more top Iranian-backed terrorist leaders in northern Baghdad.
The Associated Press reported: “Iraqi official says airstrike hits cars carrying Iran-backed militia north of Baghdad.”
BAGHDAD (AP) — Iraqi official says airstrike hits cars carrying Iran-backed militia north of Baghdad.
— Zeke Miller (@ZekeJMiller) January 3, 2020
In the early morning hours on Saturday in Iraq, OIR Spokesman Col. Myles B. Caggins III, official military Spokesperson for Operation Inherent Resolve (OIR), reported that the International Coalition for Operation Inherent Resolve did not have anything to do with the airstrikes.
FACT: The Coalition @CJTFOIR did NOT conduct airstrikes near Camp Taji (north of Baghdad) in recent days.
— OIR Spokesman Col. Myles B. Caggins III (@OIRSpox) January 4, 2020
“Air strikes targeting Iraq’s Popular Mobilization Forces umbrella grouping of Iran-backed Shi’ite militias near camp Taji north of Baghdad have killed six people and critically wounded three, an Iraqi army source said late on Friday,” Reuters reported. “Two of the three vehicles making up a militia convoy were found burned, the source said, as well as six burned corpses. The strikes took place at 1:12 am local time, he said.”
The strike comes only one day after a strike that was authorized by President Donald Trump took out Qasem Soleimani, the head of the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps-Quds Force, a U.S.-designated Foreign Terrorist Organization.
The strike that killed Soleimani also killed top Iraqi paramilitary commander Abu Mahdi al-Mohandes, the head of the Iranian-linked Popular Mobilization Forces.
The two were killed when an American MQ-9 Reaper drone targeted a convoy that the two men were riding in that was leaving Baghdad International Airport.
Soleimani was responsible for killing hundreds of American soldiers in Iraq dating back to the start of the Iraq war in 2003.
State Department says Iran responsible for killing 608 U.S. troops during Iraq War.
Qasem Soleimani led all Iranian and Iranian-backed forces in those operations.
17% of U.S. troops killed in Iraq from 2003 to 2011 orchestrated by Iran, State Dept. says
— Lucas Tomlinson (@LucasFoxNews) January 3, 2020
On Friday, Trump said that he ordered the military to take out Soleimani because he “was plotting imminent and sinister attacks on American diplomats and military personnel, but we caught him in the act and terminated him.”
“For years the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps and its ruthless Quds force under Soleimani’s leadership has targeted, injured, and murdered murder hundreds of American civilians and servicemen,” Trump continued. “Soleimani made the death of innocent people his sick passion, contributing to terrorist plots as far as way as New Delhi and London. … Recently Soleimani led the brutal representation of protesters in Iran where more than 1,000 innocent civilians were tortured and killed by their own government.”
The Department of Defense said: “General Soleimani was actively developing plans to attack American diplomats and service members in Iraq and throughout the region. General Soleimani and his Quds Force were responsible for the deaths of hundreds of American and coalition service members and the wounding of thousands more. He had orchestrated attacks on coalition bases in Iraq over the last several months – including the attack on December 27th – culminating in the death and wounding of additional American and Iraqi personnel. General Soleimani also approved the attacks on the U.S. Embassy in Baghdad that took place this week.”
The Department of State said: “We can confirm that in the past several days, General Soleimani had been traveling in the Middle East coordinating further imminent large-scale attacks against U.S. diplomats and service members. These threats were highly credible and the intelligence is sound. General Soleimani’s travel also violated the ban imposed by the United Nations Security Council. Recent orders given by General Soleimani dramatically escalated Iran’s campaign of violence and terrorism against Americans and American interests in the Middle East. He orchestrated a series of attacks against American forces in Iraq in the past several months, culminating in the rocket attack on December 27, 2019, which resulted in the death of an American citizen, wounded four American service members, and threatened the lives of many more American personnel. General Soleimani also ordered the assault on the American Embassy in Baghdad. General Soleimani continued to command Iranian supported proxies in Iraq, which posed an escalating threat to the lives of Americans.”
This report has been updated.