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Exclusive timeline of Iran Shi’ite – U.S. Soleimani strike: What’s next in Iraq?

Written By | Jan 4, 2020
Iran, Iraq, Soleimani, US, U.S., Marines

BAGHDAD, IRAQ, Jan. 1, 2020. U.S. Marines with 2nd Battalion, 7th Marines, assigned to the Special Purpose Marine Air-Ground Task Force-Crisis Response-Central Command (SPMAGTF-CR-CC) 19.2, reinforce the Baghdad Embassy Compound. The SPMAGTF-CR-CC is a quick reaction force, prepared to deploy a variety of capabilities across the region. U.S. Marine Corps photo by Sgt. Kyle C. Talbot

SAN DIEGO. The recent U.S. defensive airstrikes on Iran-backed Shia militias and Iranian military leader Gen. Qassem Soleimani drew praise and criticism. Jan 3rd, a Senior Department of Defense (DoD) Official explains the rationale regarding the airstrike that killed the head of the Iranian Quds Force. Hundreds of American and coalition service members fell under the sword of this man and thousands more were wounded. President Trump directed the strike launched by DoD.

“He [Soleimani] was the commander directly responsible for organizing and directing multiple attacks against Americans in the region, including [Kataib Hezbollah [KH] attacks we’ve seen over the last several months,” the official said, adding that, “Kataib Hezbollah is a group with links to the Iranian Islamic Revolutionary Guard’s Quds Force.”

Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis, leader of the Iranian-linked Popular Mobilization Forces, was also killed in the Soleimani strike.

The Defense official made clear that the attack was “designed to defend American lives and prevent further bloodshed.” U.S. military skill assured precision targeting and limited collateral damage.

News happens fast these days in Iraq.

Breaking: More Iranian-backed terrorist leaders taken out by airstrikes.

Today in the Daily Wire, the Associated Press states: “Iraqi official says airstrike hits cars carrying Iran-backed militia north of Baghdad.”

The Daily Wire added, “Airstrikes targeting Iraq’s Popular Mobilization Forces umbrella grouping of Iran-backed Shi’ite militias near camp Taji north of Baghdad have killed six people and critically wounded three, an Iraqi army source said late on Friday,” Reuters reported.

Iran and it’s proxy terrorist Shia militia groups ignore U.S. warnings to stop attacking American forces and America’s allies in the region. Sending their message on rockets – sets themselves up as targets for U.S. counter-terrorism defense.

Retaliatory strikes against U.S. counter-defense begin.

In another Daily Wire report today, “Reuters reported, “Several rockets fell on Saturday inside Baghdad’s heavily fortified Green Zone, its Jadriya neighborhood, and the Balad airbase housing U.S. troops.”

“An Iranian official says at least 35 U.S. targets have been identified for retaliatory strikes after the country’s president chillingly vowed to exact revenge for the killing of General Qassem Soleimani,” The Daily Mail reported on Saturday. “Targets include ships in the Persian Gulf, the Strait of Hormuz and Tel Aviv,” says Daily Wire.

Trump clarified the airstrike on Soleimani as, “This was done to stop a war, not start a war.” Apparently, Iran has other ideas about war. We see terrorists who don’t hold themselves accountable for murderous acts and think only others commit crimes on them.

Read Also: Soleimani’s killing: President Trump saving American lives
Dec. 31st assault on the U.S. embassy in Baghdad was not a one-off attack by ‘protesters’.

Defense Secretary Mark Esper reported over the last couple of months Iranian- backed Shia militias have repeatedly attacked bases hosting American forces in Iraq.

  • November 9th: Iranian-backed Shia militias fired rockets at Q-West Air Base in North-West Iraq.
  • December 3rd: The same militias conducted a rocket attack on Al Asad Air Base.
  • Dec 5th: Launched rockets against Balad Air Base.
  • Dec 9th: Same militia groups fired rockets at the Baghdad Diplomatic Support Center at the Baghdad International Airport.
  • Dec. 27th: Kata’ib Hezbollah launched 30+ rockets against American forces on an Iraqi base near Kirkuk. An American civilian was killed and four American service members were injured. Two Iraqi Security Forces (ISF) members were also injured. KH has a strong linkage to the Iranian Revolutionary Guards Quds Force (IRGC). Receiving lethal aid and support and direction from Iran.
Soleimani orchestrated attacks while breaching UN travel ban.
Defense Sec. Esper reiterates, “It is clear that these attacks are being directed by the Iranian regime, specifically IRGC leadership.”

According to the United Nations Security Council Resolution 2231, Soleimani was banned from international travel by [and] in defiance of United Nations Security Council resolutions. The ban didn’t stop him from showing up in Iraq, Syria, and Lebanon to lead actions that threaten peace and security.

Dec 31: Iran-designated terrorists (many wearing militia uniforms), not Iraqi people, launched an attack on the U.S. Embassy, Baghdad – overran the reception area – battered the entrance, set fire to the compound, and destroyed property. While shouting, “Down, Down, America.” They wreaked damage to exterior entry facilities and buildings at the embassy compound. These are terrorist tactics, not to be taken lightly as sadly proven in the embassy attack in Benghazi 2012.

Sec. of State Mike Pompeo delineated that Iran-backed designated terrorists planned and perpetrated the violence towards Americans and sovereign ground.  In a different location called Tahrir Square, the Iraqi people held protests.

The Iraqi people are sick of Iranian corruption in their country, wherever it lies.

Iran, Iraq, Soleimani, US, U.S., Marines

BAGHDAD, IRAQ, Dec. 8, 2019. Iraqi security forces and members of Saraya Salam (Peace Brigades) militia search people heading to Tahrir Square where ongoing anti-government protests are taking place. Iraqi Security forces set up checkpoints alongside unarmed members of the militia group to protect anti-government protesters in central Baghdad plazas, two days after a deadly attack by unknown gunmen. The militia group, Saraya Salam or Peace Brigades, are linked to influential Shiite cleric Muqtada al-Sadr, and have been present in Tahrir Square, the epicenter of Iraq’s protest movement, where they have offered protection for hundreds of peaceful demonstrators. AP Photo/Hadi Mizban

The right to target Soleimani and other Iranian terrorists posing an imminent threat.

“Soleimani, was actively and consistently developing plans to attack American diplomats and service members in Iraq and throughout the region,” a Defense official said. Even after his death, attack plans continue without thought of what could be a magnitude counter-defense and response from the U.S. and its allies.

“We have been very clear with Iran and our Iraqi partners that these increasing attacks need to stop and that we would hold Iran directly responsible for any harm to U.S. personnel,” the official concluded.

According to the International Institute of Humanitarian Law – RULES OF ENGAGEMENT HANDBOOK,

“It is universally recognised that individuals and units have a right to defend themselves against attack or imminent attack…Deadly force can be used against persons posing an imminent threat to life.”
NATO states, “Terrorism in all its forms poses a direct threat to the security of the citizens of NATO countries, and to international stability and prosperity.”

According to NATO, attacks against an ally or partner of the U.S. – are an attack against the U.S. And must be defended.

Iran meddling threatens the vital work of the Coalition to Defeat ISIS.

The 81 nations and member organizations of the Defeat-ISIS Coalition are in Iraq and Syria to eradicate ISIS. The U.S., along with Iraqi Security Forces (ISF) and Syrian Democratic Forces, rolled back the caliphate in those regions, liberating millions of Iraqis and Syrians. NATO nations are also in Iraq to assist with building the capabilities of ISF.

U.S. CENTCOM, Combined Joint Task Force, Operation Inherent Resolve (CJTF-OIR) offered the following statement yesterday,

“We have increased security and defensive measures at the Iraqi bases that host anti-ISIS Coalition troops. Our command places protection of U.S. Forces, as well as our allies, and security partners in the Coalition as the top priority; we remain vigilant and resolute,” says a Background to Coalition Military Official. 

U.S. quick reaction on December 31, 2019.

Marines assigned to Special Purpose Marine Air-Ground Task Force-Crisis Response-Central Command (SPMAGTF-CR-CC) headed out, armed and ready to protect all Americans at the U.S. Embassy in Baghdad.

Iran, Iraq, Soleimani, US, U.S., Marines

BAGHDAD, IRAQ, Jan. 3, 2020. A U.S. Marine with 2nd Battalion, 7th Marines, assigned to the Special Purpose Marine Air-Ground Task Force-Crisis Response-Central Command (SPMAGTF-CR-CC) 19.2, provides long-range over watch security with an M40A6 sniper rifle at the Baghdad Embassy Compound. A Marine Air Ground Task Force is specifically designed to be capable of deploying aviation, ground, and logistics forces forward at a moment’s notice. U.S. Marine Corps photo by Sgt. Kyle C. Talbot

Additionally, 750 troops from Army Immediate Response Force (IRF) with 82nd Airborne Division were deployed to the Central Command area of operations. These troops sent to beef up the Baghdad Embassy defense and elsewhere in the region.

Reports say, another 3,000 troops will deploy amid rising threats and escalating tensions in Iraq. As a precautionary, appropriate, and lawful measures to protect American people and interests.

Iran, Iraq, Soleimani, US, U.S., Marines

NORTH CAROLINA, Jan. 1, 2020. U.S. Army Paratroopers assigned to the 2nd Battalion, 504th Parachute Infantry Regiment, 1st Brigade Combat Team, 82nd Airborne Division, deploy from Pope Army Airfield. Elements of the Immediate Response Force mobilized for deployment to the U.S. Central Command area of operations in response to increased threat levels against U.S. personnel and facilities. U.S. Army photo by Capt. Robyn J. Haake

What an abrupt change from mere months ago, when Patriot Profiles reported that a U.S. Marine Corps General walked freely in the streets of Baghdad, unarmed. Another General traveled across the region on the ground; saw happiness, and economy flourishing again after years of war.

Iraqi government urged to prevent further escalation, says DoD.
Leaders of the Iraqi government condemned the attacks on the U.S. embassy. Additionally, Saudi Arabia, UAE, and Bahrain in the region joined Iraq in condemning Iran-backed terrorist actions. As well as the E.U., Germany, France, and other nations.
Defense Sec. Esper says, ‘Unlike the Iranians who continue to meddle in Iraq’s internal affairs and seek to use corruption to further Tehran’s malign influence, the United States and our allies are committed to an independent, stable, secure, and sovereign democratic Iraq that addresses the aspirations and needs of the Iraq people, who we see protesting for these very things and objecting to Iran’s malign influence.”
The U.S. is not the only outside stability, security assistance force in terror-ridden countries.

December 04, 2019, at a NATO meeting, Allied Leaders noted an updated Action Plan to enhance NATO’s role in the international community’s fight against terrorism. NATO has an Intelligence Cell to assist in the fight against terrorism. NATO is a member of the Global Coalition to Defeat ISIS.

List of NATO member countries.

Will Iran turn from terror ever?

Today’s briefing from the Pentagon makes clear U.S. intent for the future – suggesting Iran ‘turn over a new leaf’ .

Statement from Ms. Alyssa Farah, Pentagon Press Secretary, Jan 3rd,

“…briefing highlighted the recent decisive defensive actions taken to protect U.S. personnel abroad, including the strikes against Iran-backed Kata’ib Hizballah (KH) on Dec. 29, and the elimination of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps Quds Force (IRGC-QF) commander Qasem Soleimani on Jan. 2. These strikes offer the regime in Iran an opportunity to turn from its terrorist past and cease its unlawful, aggressive escalatory attacks.”
“Briefers also emphasized that we do not seek escalation with Iran, and have taken appropriate measures to ensure the safety and security of U.S. citizens, forces, partners and interests in the region. They also reinforced our committed to allies and partners in the region.”
Featured Image: BAGHDAD, IRAQ, Jan. 1, 2020. U.S. Marines with 2nd Battalion, 7th Marines, assigned to the Special Purpose Marine Air-Ground Task Force-Crisis Response-Central Command (SPMAGTF-CR-CC) 19.2, reinforce the Baghdad Embassy Compound. The SPMAGTF-CR-CC is a quick reaction force, prepared to deploy a variety of capabilities across the region. U.S. Marine Corps photo by Sgt. Kyle C. Talbot


Jeanne McKinney

Senior Staff Writer for CommDigiNews, Jeanne McKinney is an award-winning writer whose focus and passion is our United States active-duty military members and military news. Her Patriot Profiles offer an inside look at the amazing active-duty men and women in all Armed Services, including U.S. Marine Corps, Navy, Army, Air Force, Coast Guard, and National Guard. Reporting includes first-hand accounts of combat missions in Iraq and Afghanistan, the fight against violent terror groups, global defense, tactical training and readiness, humanitarian and disaster relief assistance, next-generation defense technology, family survival at home, U.S. port and border protection and illegal immigration, women in combat, honoring the Fallen, Wounded Warriors, Military Working Dogs, Crisis Response, and much more. Starting in 2012, McKinney has won multiple San Diego Press Club “Excellence in Journalism Awards,” including eight “First Place” honors, as well as multiple second and third place recognition for her Patriot Profiles published printed articles. Including awards for Patriot Profiles military films. During the year 2020, McKinney has written and had published dozens of investigative articles in her ongoing fight to preserve America the Republic, the Constitution, and its laws. One such story selected for use in a legal brief in the national fight for 2020 election integrity.