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Israeli Intel Chief Reveals Role in American Operation to Assassinate Iran’s Top General Qasem Soleimani


Former chief of the Israeli Defence Force’s Military Intelligence Directorate, Major General Tamir Hayman, has revealed that Israel played a role in the U.S. assassination of Iran’s most decorated military officer Qasem Soleimani on January 3, 2020. “Assassinating Soleimani was an achievement, since our main enemy, in my eyes, are the Iranians,” he said, stressing that there had been “two significant and important assassinations during my term,” which ended in October. “The first, as I’ve already recalled, is that of Qasem Soleimani – it’s rare to locate someone so senior, who is the architect of the fighting force, the strategist and the operator – it’s rare,” he said. Soleimani was killed after arriving at Baghdad International Airport to meet Iraqi Prime Minister Adil Abdul-Mahdi, with Iraq having been set to serve as an intermediary for reconciliation talks with Saudi Arabia. His convoy was struck by an MQ-9 Reaper drone owned by the U.S. Air Force, which was later revealed to have been operated by the CIA.

Days after the strike, NBC reported that Israeli intelligence had had a role in the operation, informing American intelligence that Soleimani’s airplane had left Damascus for Baghdad. Hayman’s statement served as the first official confirmation of this. The U.S. maintained much greater freedom of action in Iraq, where it cooperated with the local military that had been set up during its occupation, compared to Syria where relations with the Syrian government and Russian forces based there were often hostile, making Iraq a favourable location to carry out the assassination. Approaching the second anniversary of the operation, U.S. President Donald Trump said that Israeli pressure had been an important factor in his decision to attack Soleimani’s convoy.



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