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TEHRAN (FNA)- Commander of the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC) Ground Force Brigadier General Mohammad Pakpour said on Friday that US terrorists and their vassals in the region must await a crushing response and tough revenge for assassinating Commander of the IRGC Qods Force Lieutenant General Qassem Soleimani.

“The US terrorists and their vassals must wait for a crushing response and severe revenge from the offspring of Imam Khomeini and noble Supreme Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyed Ali Khamenei,” Brigadier General Pakpour said on Friday.

“The Enemies of Islam, particularly the criminal US, must know that all of those who have tied their hearts with the Resistance Front and all comrades and colleagues of Martyr Hajj Qassem will keep following the path of this fighter of the God’s cause with stronger and more resolute determination and motivation,” he added.

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 helicopters after lifetime efforts," the IRGC said in a statement early Friday morning.

The airstrike also martyred Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis, deputy commander of Iraq's Popular Mobilization Forces (PMF), or Hashad al-Shabi. The PMF media arm said the two were martyred in an American airstrike that targeted their vehicle on the road to the airport.

A PMF official said seven people were martyred by missiles fired by the US helicopters at Baghdad International Airport.

He said the dead included the PMF airport protocol officer, Mohammed Reda.

The Pentagon confirmed the attack in a statement.

The attack came amid tensions that started by the US attack on PMF units that killed 28 Iraqi popular forces. 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 retaliatory 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.

US President Donald Trump was vacationing on his estate in Palm Beach, Florida, but sent out a tweet of an American flag.

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.

 

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Major General Salami made the remarks in this southwestern Iranian city of Ahvaz in Khuzestan province while addressing a meeting of Basijis (volunteer forces).

 

The IRGC chief commander censured the enemies for their efforts to attribute their defeats in Iraq to the Islamic Republic.

 

Through sanctions, the enemies are trying to create problems for the Iranian nation, Major General Salami said while stressing that sanctions led to the development as the country could build drones that can annihilate the targets thousands of kilometers away.

 

Referring to the unrest in Iran after a gasoline price hike about two months ago, the commander said the enemies were to use the issue of fuel as a tool for hurting the country, meanwhile, they could not be successful.

 

Enemies try to blame Iran wherever they face failure, and this is the most important aspect of the Islamic Republic power, Salami said.

 

Iran is not afraid of any kind of war, and the US should know that it has to talk to Iran correctly and according to the international regulations, he noted.


"The Islamic Republic of Iran is powerful enough, and there is nothing to be worried about."

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TEHRAN (FNA)- Commander of the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC) Major General Hossein Salami said that Iran does not fear the US threats and is ready to defeat it again.

"The Iranian nation has not started war in the past incidents but it annihilates any aggressor and the US is aware of this," General Salami said, addressing a gathering in the Southwestern city of Ahvaz on Thursday.

He underlined the need for the Americans to speak with Iran with a correct and appropriate launguage, and said, "We are powerful and ready for defeating the US several other times and we are not worried about the US threats and it is them who should be worried."

Elsewhere, the IRGC chief commander censured the enemies for their attempts to attribute their failures in Iraq to the Islamic Republic.

Through sanctions, the enemies are trying to create problems for the Iranian nation, Major General Salami said while stressing that sanctions led to the development as the country could build drones that can annihilate the targets thousands of kilometers away.

Enemies try to blame Iran wherever they face failure, and this is the most important aspect of the Islamic Republic's power, General Salami said.

Iran is not afraid of any kind of war, and the US should know that it has to talk to Iran correctly and according to the international regulations, he noted.

"The Islamic Republic of Iran is powerful enough, and there is nothing to be worried about."

His remarks came after Supreme Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyed Ali Khamenei described US President Donald Trump's "very big price" threat to Iran as empty words, saying that Washington cannot do a damn thing.

"That guy (Donald Trump) has tweeted that they see Iran responsible for the events in Baghdad and will respond to Iran. Firstly, You can’t do a damn thing since this issue is not related to Iran and secondly, you should be logical and come to find the root causes; of course you are not logical," Ayatollah Khamenei said, addressing a large number of Iranian nurses in Tehran on Wednesday on the occasion of the Nurse Day in Iran.

"The Americans should come to realize that people in the region, including in Iraq and Afghanistan, hate them for their crimes and this hatred surfaces somewhere," he added.

The Leader noted that the people in Iraq have come to hate the US after Washington looted their wealth and resources and killed large numbers of the nation, including thousands of Iraq's scientists.

"If the Islamic Republic decides to challenge and fight a country, it will do so unequivocally; but  everyone should know that we strongly defend the Iranian nation’s interests, dignity, glory and progress. If anyone threatens that, we will unhesitatingly confront and strike them," he underlined, and said, "Unlike some who claim that war would break out, we will not push the country into war, but if others intend to impose a thing on this nation, we confront them with ultimate power."

"Look at what the US is doing in Iraq and Syria. They’re taking revenge on Hashd al-Shaabi for defeating the ISIL. Since Hashd al-Shaabi crippled and destroyed ISIL—which the US had created—they’re taking revenge. The Iranian government the Iranian nation and I strongly condemn the US’s malice," Ayatollah Khamenei said.

He also referred to the November protest rallies in Iran against the gasoline rationing which turned violent by rioters, and said, "People have economic demands, mostly rightful ones. In the events of Nov, people had demands but the enemy had prepared agents to cause sedition. It used the opportunity to harm the country. With their insight and astuteness, people withdrew and the seditionists were left alone."

"Those who abuse people’s demands, attack fuel and wheat warehouses to set them on fire and destroy infrastructures, which belong to the people, some of them may do this based on emotions. But, the main orchestrators are linked to foreign intelligence services," the Leader said.

"A senior official of the country said a foreign politician said during the recent riots he had heard the stupid US officials in Washington say happily that Iran is done this time,” he added.
"He said when the incidents had finished, the Americans were very upset that it hadn’t worked again," Ayatollah Khamenei said.

The Iranian foreign ministry on Wednesday summoned the Swiss charge de 'affairs to Tehran whose country represents the US interests in the Islamic Republic, and voiced strong protest at Washington’s recent allegations against Iran over the recent developments in Iraq.

The Iranian foreign ministry summoned the Swiss envoy to strongly protest at the US officials' stances on the developments in Iraq and their warmongering remarks that run counter to the UN Charter.

In the meeting, Senior Assistant to the Iranian Foreign Minister Mohsen Baharvand called on the Swiss envoy to convey Iran's protest at the US and tell the American officials that Iraq is an independent country and the Iraqi people are freedom-seeking, independence-seeking and honorable.

He added that the US has martyred at least 25 Iraqi youths and wounded a large number of others without providing any evidence to prove their involvement in attacks against the US positions in Iraq.

"It is natural for the Iraqi people to show reaction to a country which has occupied their land and kills their youths," Baharvand said.

He noted that the Americans have also concurrently bombed two points in Syria which indicates that they are pursuing a hidden agenda, adding, "The American officials would be better to stop blame game and not to raise allegations against our country without any reason."

Baharvand said that Iran is not a warmonger country but it defends itself against any aggression powerfully.

The US drones on Sunday bombarded a Hashd al-Shaabi base near the border with Syria in Iraq's Western province of Anbar, a Hashd Shaabi statement said.

The attack took place in the evening when the US drones bombarded the base of Hashd Shaabi's 45th Brigade near the border town of al-Qaim, the statement said.

The bombardment left tens of the brigade's members killed and wounded.

In reaction, Hashd al-Shaabi Lieutenant Commander Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis warned of a harsh response to the attack, saying that the blood of martyrs will not be wasted.

Also, Asa'eb al-Haq Movement, affiliated to the Iraqi popular forces of Hashd al-Shaabi, described the US deployment in Iraq as a threat to the country, calling on all political groups to react to Washington's "cowardly attack".

Meantime, Qassem Moslih, the commander of Hashd al-Shaabi in al-Anbar province, said that the US wanted to change the equations by bombing the popular forces' positions.

Also, resigned Iraqi Prime Minister Adel Abdul Mahdi in a message to the US secretary of defense underlined his opposition to the attack, waring that bombing Hashd al-Shaabi positions is a dangerous tension which threatens the security of Iraq and the region.

Meantime, Head of the National Wisdom Movement of Iraq Ammar al-Hakim condemned the attack, describing it as clear violation of Iraq's sovereignty.

Also, Falih al-Khazali, a member of al-Fatah coalition in the Iraqi parliament, warned that the US forces have started an obvious war against Iraq.

Meantime, Iraq's Hezbollah Brigades in a statement deplored the attack, terming it hostile aggression against the defenders of Iraq's borders.

Also, Iraqi President Barham Salih underlined that the attack was conducted against the two countries' agreements, describing it as unacceptable.

On Tuesday, thousands of Iraqis participated in the funeral ceremony of Hashd al-Shaabi martyrs killed in the US Sunday attack against their position, as they moved towards Washington's embassy in Baghdad.

The Arabic-language al-Mayadeen news channel reported on Tuesday that participants in the funeral ceremony declared a sit-in in areas near the US embassy and some of them erected tents in the area.

According to the report, a large number of Iraqi people, carrying the flags of Iraq and Hashd al-Shaabi, are moving towards the suspension bridge that leads to the US embassy from al-Janaderiyeh region.

They also carry placards to condemn the US aggression against Hashd al-Shaabi and Iraq's sovereignty, calling for the expulsion of the American ambassador.

The participants in the funeral ceremony also warned Iraqi legislators that if they do not approve a bill to expel the US forces, they will not allow them to enter the parliament anymore.

After the Iraqi protestors attacked the US embassy in Iraq, the American officials took positions against Iran by blaming the country for organizing the rallies but Tehran has denied any involvement.

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UPDATED BREAKING: Iran IRGC Leader Qassem Suleimani is Dead in U.S. Strike, also killed is the Head of Kataib Hezbollah - Abu Mehdi Muhandis.

Iraqi state TV moments ago announced the death of Iran's most senior elite military commander, IRGC Quds Force chief Qasem Suleimani.


At the beginning of the last decade, when Gen. Suleimani began becoming a more visible and powerful face of influence in Iran and across the Middle East, one former CIA officer cited in a New Yorker biographical piece on him referred to the IRGC commander as the “most powerful operative in the Middle East today.”

As leader of the Revolutionary Guards' most elite Quds force, he directed all unconventional warfare and intelligence activities abroad. For that reason Washington and Tel Aviv had long considered him threat #1 within the Iranian military command structure. 

If correct the admin just ratcheted up the ante in in a big way. 

Security sources told local media a strike hit two vehicles, killing Mohammed Redha, a senior member of Iraq’s Popular Mobilization Units — an umbrella group that includes Iran-backed Shiite militias with close ties to Iran and other militias that have fought the Islamic State group since 2014. Other PMU members and “guests” were also killed, the PMU said. 

  • Qassem Soleimani, the head of Iran's Quds Force, was killed Friday in Baghdad
  • Missiles obliterated vehicles carrying Soleimani and Iraqi Shiite militiamen 
  • Pro-Iran militia Popular Mobilization Forces blames the US for the attack
  • PMF deputy commander Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis was among those killed
  • He was one of the leaders of the attack on the US embassy in Baghdad 
  • Five PMF officials and two 'guests' were killed in the strike, officials say 
  • Local security official describes the attack as a coordinated airstrike 

An early-morning strike hit the Baghdad International Airport perimeter, near the air cargo terminal, the Iraqi government said Friday.

The attack, which set two cars ablaze, apparently occurred at about 1 a.m. Social media users posted hearing the explosions, then the sounds of military aircraft.



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