Two minute read. Written by a grade 9 student.
On the 3rd of January this year, U.S. President Donald Trump gave orders to strike and kill General Qassem Suleimani – who was the head of Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps’ (IRGC’s) Quds Force. His car was bombed as he left the Baghdad airport. This was done using a drone that was armed with laser-guided Hellfire air-to-surface missiles regularly used in attacks on terrorists. He was 62 years old.
Who was General Qassem Suleimani?
General Qassem Suleimani was one of the most powerful men in Iraq who was believed to be the future president of Iran. Before telling you about his position, it’s important to know about the Force he commanded. The Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) – literally meaning ‘Army of Guardians of the Islamic Revolution’, is a branch of the Iranian Armed Forces and Suleimani was the commander of something called Quds force, which is a unit of the IRGC (the IRGC was declared a foreign terrorist organisation by the US in 1979)
Why did the Americans kill him?
The U.S. believed that Suleimani was behind attacks on Americans staying in the Middle East. They saw him as a dangerous killer and in defence of the attack the American government said that “General Soleimani was actively developing plans to attack American diplomats and service members in Iraq and throughout the region.”
The U.S. has blamed Soleimani and his Quds Force for many attacks in Iraq in recent months, including a strike on the 27th of December who led to the death of an American. He was also blamed for the December 31 US Embassy attack in Baghdad. They also said that Soleimani killed hundreds of American troops as a commander.
What’s going to happen now?
Iran has vowed “severe revenge” for his death. There is a lot of tension between the two states. As a first act of retaliation, Iran has carried out a ballistic missile attack on air bases housing US forces in Iraq. More than a dozen missiles launched from Iran have struck two air bases in Irbil and Al Asad, west of Baghdad.
The U.S. and Iran have been enemies for a long time – since 1979 when Iran became an Islamic Republic. This killing has elevated their conflict to another level.