The Pentagon says the U.S. military has killed Gen. Qassem Soleimani, the head of Iran's elite Quds Force, at the direction of President Donald Trump.
It was an airstrike that killed Soleimani, who was the architect of Iran's regional security apparatus. The strike happened at Baghdad's international airport Friday, Iranian state television and three Iraqi officials said. "General Soleimani was actively developing plans to attack American diplomats and service members in Iraq and throughout the region," the Department of Defense said in a statement.
The strike also killed Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis, deputy commander of the Popular Mobilization Forces, Iraqi officials said.
The Department of Defense said, "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."
Their deaths are a potential turning point in the Middle East and are expected to draw severe retaliation from Iran and the forces it backs in the Middle East against Israel and American interests.
Idaho Senator Jim Risch reacted to the news Thursday night and sent out a statement and participated in a telephone interview with KTVB. The other members of Idaho's congressional delegation all issued statements Friday.
Sen. Mike Crapo
"I look forward to reviewing additional facts from intelligence and military officials surrounding the operation that killed one of Iran's top terrorist leaders. I will continue to work with the Administration and with my colleagues to deter further nefarious activities by Iran."
Sen. Jim Risch
"Congratulations to President Trump on his decisive action and the successful outcome. Qassem Suleimani was responsible for the deaths of hundreds of Americans and his death presents an opportunity for Iraq to determine its own future free from Iranian control. As I have previously warned the Iranian government, they should not mistake our reasonable restraint in response to their previous attacks as weakness. The U.S. will always vigorously defend our interests and allies in the face of terrorist conduct and provocations.
"On behalf of every American serviceman and servicewoman who has either been killed or injured due to an Iranian-provided IED or rocket in Iraq over the years, today justice was done. Suleimani was responsible for the weapons program that caused those casualties and injuries with the use of those treacherous and cowardly devices."
Rep. Mike Simpson
"Today, because of decisive action taken by President Trump and the US military, an avowed terrorist and enemy of the United States has been brought to justice. Qasem Soleimani was responsible for the deaths of hundreds of US servicemembers and personally did more to threaten the United States and its allies than almost any other state actor. My thoughts are with US diplomats, servicemembers and our allies who remain steadfast in the face of evil and keep us safe each and every day."
Rep. Russ Fulcher
"General Qassem Suleimani and Iran's Quds Force are responsible for the deaths of hundreds of Americans, along with fomenting instability in Iraq and throughout the region. The President's actions helped protect U.S. diplomats and military servicemembers stationed in Baghdad. The U.S. will defend our diplomats, embassies, and interests from acts of terrorism by Iran."
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