Catherine Herridge at CBS reported that senior US government official confirmed the strike was in response to active threat to US interests in the region personally overseen by GEN Suleimani. Official made clear US prepared to take further action if diplomats, soldiers threatened by his replacement.
The other two killed beyond Suleimani was the #2 Hezbollah guy from Lebanon, Naem Qasm. The third killed in the strike was Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis, leader of an Iraqi paramilitary group behind the attempted storming of the US embassy in Baghdad on Tuesday. A triad of really odious evil men.
Also, Qais al-Khazali and Hadi al-Ameri have been arrested by US forces; two of Iraq’s most powerful militia heads. This event is huge.
Suleimani’s death is so consequential—as more comes out about this guy, he was overseeing war in Syria, feeding & playing on sectarian hatred, helping to crack down on protestors in Iran (some reports had some documented events from 2009, 2017, and 2019), as well as in Iraq now, and likely more recently helping Hezbollah set up protests in Lebanon. I’m eager to read Kim Ghattas’ forthcoming book Black Wave about him. There are a lot of complex threads that all unfolded after the Iran-Iraq War and her scholarship will be interesting to read.
Also, for those interested in reading more about him, here’s a longform piece from the New Yorker (from 2013) on Suleimani. https://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2013 ... -commander
Everyone should take the time to read this.
Khamenei will think twice before he says “you can’t do anything,” again.