On Jan. 3, President Donald Trump launched a drone assault killing Qassem Soleimani, otherwise known as Iran’s top general and leader of Iran’s Quds Force. Soleimani along with Abu Mahdi Muhandis and Mohammad Ridha Jabri, a well-known Iraqi politician and the group’s leader of public relations, were in transit to the Baghdad international airport when calamity struck.
Allegedly, Trump had knowledge of an imminent attack by Soleimani on United States citizens, and that was the reason for the seemingly rash decision. The President’s administration, however, would claim the decision was planned and considered weeks in advance.
Preceding the drone affair, on Dec. 27 of last year, an incident occurred where Iranian militia rockets killed four U.S. workers and a contractor working in Iraq. Soleimani was found to be at fault, causing the United States to retaliate on Dec. 29 by targeting five places in Iraq and Syria.
Approximately twenty four militiamen were killed. These two events generated low-grade relations between the United States and Iran, which is why President Trump was highly encouraged to instigate the attack against Soleimani.
David E. Sanger, an analyst for the New York Times, labeled the drone strike the “riskiest move made by the United States in the Middle East since the invasion of Iraq in 2003.”
A large number of Republicans supported Trump in his decision while many Democrats, including Nancy Pelosi, the Speaker of the House, felt as though the President did not first adequately advise Congress members.
The Iraq militia is yet to reciprocate the attack, yet the United States deployed 3,500 auxiliary troops to the Middle East area following Soleimani’s death. For now, American citizens have been asked to leave Iraq until further intentions of the conflicting military force are known.