Pentagon says US airstrike killed powerful Iranian general

Iraqi TV and three Iraqi officials said Friday, Jan. 3, 2020, that Gen. Qassem Soleimani, the head of Iran’s elite Quds Force, has been killed in an airstrike at Baghdad’s international airport. 

The Pentagon said Thursday that the U.S. military killed Gen. Qassem Soleimani, the head of Iran’s elite Quds Force, at the direction of President Donald Trump.

By late Thursday evening, some members of the Nebraska and Iowa congressional delegations issued statements on the strike.

Sen. Ben Sasse, R-Neb., praised the operation in a press release.

"This is very simple: General Soleimani is dead because he was an evil bastard who murdered Americans,” Sasse said. “The President made the brave and right call, and Americans should be proud of our service members who got the job done. Tehran is on edge - the mullahs have already slaughtered at least a thousand innocent Iranians - and before they lash out further they should know that the U.S. military can bring any and all of these IRGC butchers to their knees."

The IRGC refers to the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps.

Rep. Don Bacon, R-Neb., issued his own release with a positive reaction to the news.

“Iran is the number number one exporter of terror,” Bacon said. “If this is true, his demise was many years in coming.”

Likewise, Sen. Joni Ernst, R-Iowa, supported the strike.

“Qassem Soleimani orchestrated heinous and reckless actions, including the slaughter of Americans, for far too long," she said in a press release. "Now, at the direction of President Trump, he has been brought to justice before he could could kill even more Americans. I applaud the work of U.S. military personnel in carrying out this mission. America, and our world, is safer because of Soleimani’s death.”

A statement released late Thursday by the Pentagon said the strike on Soleimani “was aimed at deterring future Iranian attack plans."

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Nancy Gaarder helps cover public safety and weather events as an editor on The World-Herald's breaking news desk. Follow her on Twitter @gaarder. Phone: 402-444-1102.

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