WASHINGTON – President Donald J. Trump last night directed, and the Defense Department subsequently launched, an airstrike that killed Iranian Gen. Qassem Soleimani, the head of the Quds Force, a senior DOD official said today during a news teleconference.
President Donald J. Trump stated, “We terminated him”.
— The White House (@WhiteHouse) January 3, 2020
“He was the commander directly responsible for organizing and directing multiple attacks against Americans in the region, including [Kataeb Hezbollah] attacks we’ve seen over the last several months,” the official said today.
Kataeb Hezbollah is a group with links to the Iranian Islamic Revolutionary Guard’s Quds Force.
Soleimani, was actively and consistently developing plans to attack American diplomats and service members in Iraq and throughout the region, the official added.
François-Philippe Champagne, Minister of Foreign Affairs, today released the following statement on the airstrike carried out by the U.S. on Iranian commander Qasem Soleimani in Iraq:
“Canada is in contact with our international partners. The safety and well-being of Canadians in Iraq and the region, including our troops and diplomats, is our paramount concern.
“We call on all sides to exercise restraint and pursue de-escalation. Our goal is and remains a united and stable Iraq.
“Canada has long been concerned by the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps’ Qods Force, led by Qasem Soleimani, whose aggressive actions have had a destabilizing effect in the region and beyond.”
On Dec. 27, U.S. forces in Iraq were attacked near Kirkuk by Kataeb Hezbollah the official continued. The attack — in which 31 rockets were fired — killed one American civilian contractor and injured four American service members, as well as two members of the Iraqi security forces.
As a result, the U.S. military responded and took defensive actions by striking Kataeb Hezbollah bases in western Iraq and western Syria, the official said.
Erin O’Toole, Conservative Shadow Minister for Foreign Affairs, and James Bezan, Shadow Minister for National Defence, released the following statement regarding the airstrike carried out by the United States against terrorist Qasem Soleimani:
“Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) has long been a tool of repression and violence in Iran and across the world, which is why the Conservative Party brought a successful vote in Parliament in June 2018 to have the IRGC listed as a terrorist entity.
“The IRGC’s Qods Force, led by Qasem Soleimani, was at the centre of IRGC operations and bear responsibility for the violence, destruction and a destabilizing influence across the Middle East.
“Conservatives are proud that the NATO mission in the region is currently under the command of Canadian Major-General Jennie Carignan and we recognize the tremendous service of the nearly 850 members of the Canadian Armed Forces serving in Op IMPACT.