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Syrian regime condemns while Syrian opposition welcomes assassination of Iran’s Soleimani 

Syrian President Bashar al-Assad met with Iranian President Hassan Rouhani in the presence of the head of Iran’s elite Quds Forces, Qassem Soleimani - 25 February 2019 (AFP)

Syrian President Bashar al-Assad met with Iranian President Hassan Rouhani in the presence of the head of Iran’s elite Quds Forces, Qassem Soleimani - 25 February 2019 (AFP)

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The Syrian regime strongly condemned the killing of the commander of the Iranian Revolutionary Guards Corps’s Quds Force, Qassem Soleimani in a US airstrike while the National Coalition for Syrian Revolution and Opposition Forces welcomed his assassination. 

On Friday, 3 January, an official source at the Foreign and Expatriates Ministry of the Syrian regime, according to the state-run Syrian Arab News Agency (SANA), described the assassination of Soleimani as  a “treacherous American criminal aggression”, which constitutes “a dangerous escalation of the situation in the region.” 

The regime stated the US is to be held responsible for the precarious situation in the region, pointing out that the assassination will greatly increase resistance to US intervention in the affairs of the region.

On the other hand, the National Coalition for Syrian Revolution and Opposition Forces welcomed Soleimani’s death, referring to his responsibility for “committing 

Moreover, the coalition added that the killing of Soleimani “ marks the end of one of the most infamous war criminals responsible for the crime file in Syria, and in the region in general.”

In a statement, the coalition considered that “ Soleimani played a pivotal role in what the situation in Syria has reached, calling on the international community to shoulder its responsibility for pursuing and prosecuting some criminals and heads of terrorism.”

Soleimani and Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis, deputy commander of Iran-backed militias in Iraq known as the Popular Mobilization Forces (PMF) were killed in an attack by US helicopters on Baghdad International Airport, Iraq.

Iran’s Revolutionary Guards confirmed in a statement that Soleimani was killed.

The US Department of Defense (the Pentagon) also confirmed the killing of Soleimani at the direction of President Donald Trump, “as a decisive defense action to protect US personnel abroad.”

The full statement from the US Department of Defense:

 

At the direction of the President, the U.S. military has taken decisive defensive action to protect U.S. personnel abroad by killing Qasem Soleimani, the head of the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps-Quds Force, a U.S.-designated Foreign Terrorist Organization.

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.

This strike was aimed at deterring future Iranian attack plans. The United States will continue to take all necessary action to protect our people and our interests wherever they are around the world.

 

Iran has threatened severe retaliation for the killing of Soleimani.

Iran’s supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei said in a statement published by Fars News Agency, the state-run Iranian news outlet, on 3 January that “ a forceful revenge awaits the criminals who have his blood and the blood of the other martyrs last night on their hands.” 

General Soliemani, who headed the external operations Quds Force for the Guards, had led and implemented Iran’s military and intelligence operations outside its territory.

Soleimani turned out to be infamous in his past years through his involvement in the military operations in support of the Syrian regime forces and the PMF in Iraq.

 

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