TEHRAN – The Central Headquarters of the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC) Qods Force, in a statement, recounted the names of the 4 Qods Force personnel who were assassinated along with Lieutenant General Qassem Soleimani by the United States.
The central HQ of IRGC’s Qods Force issued a statement on Friday, recounting that during the attack of Americans in the early hours of the day, 10 people were martyred, 5 of them Iranians, including Lieutenant General Soleimani, and 5 of them Iraqis, including Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis, deputy commander of Iraq’s Popular Mobilization Forces (PMF), or Hashad al-Shabi.
The 4 Iranians in Soleimani’s entourage were Brigadier General Hossein Jafarinia, Colonel Shahroud Mozaffarinia, Major Hadi Taromi, and Captain Vahid Zamanian. The statement also dismissed the rumors that General Soleimani’s son-in-law accompanied him or was killed in the attack.
Lieutenant General Soleimani was martyred in a targeted assassination attack by US aircraft at Baghdad International Airport early on Friday morning.
“General Qassem Soleimani has been martyred by the US drones after lifetime efforts,” the IRGC said in a statement early Friday morning.
The PMF media arm said the two were killed in an American airstrike that targeted their vehicle on the road to the airport. A PMF official said seven other people were killed by missiles fired by the US forces at Baghdad International Airport. He said the dead included PMF airport protocol officer, Mohammed Reda.
The Pentagon confirmed the attack in a statement. The attack came amid tensions started by the US attack on PMF units that killed 28 Iraqi soldiers. A day later, Iraqi people attacked the US embassy in Baghdad. On Wednesday President Donald Trump ordered about 750 US soldiers deployed to the Middle East.
US officials earlier suggested they were to engage in further air attacks in Iraq. The developments also represent a major downturn in Iraq-US relations that could further undermine US influence in the region and American troops in Iraq and weaken Washington’s hand in its pressure campaign against Iran.
The attack represents a dramatic escalation by the US toward Iran after months of tensions. The tensions take root in Trump’s decision in May 2018 to withdraw the US from Iran’s nuclear deal with world powers, struck under his predecessor, former US President Barack Obama.