OPINION| Lawrence David| Relying on intelligence assets on the ground in Iraq, President Trump ordered late-night strikes for the second day in a row. This time targeting Iranian-backed Shia militia leaders in Northern Baghdad.
(Reuters) Air strikes 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.
Two of the three vehicles making up a militia convoy were found burned, the source said, as well as six burned corpses. The strikes took place at 1:12 am local time, he said.
Immediate reports have identified Qais Khazali and Shibl al-Zaydi as having been killed during the strike.
U.S. sources said that Qais Khazali had been responsible for the recent attack on the US Embassy in Baghdad. Shibl was the leader of Kata’ib al-Imam Ali or the Imam Ali Battalions.
The sequenced disposition of these terrorist leaders appears to be following an orderly plan.
— jiyar kaya (@jiyarkaya) January 3, 2020
It appears President Trump has a well-developed plan, based on excellent intelligence, to destroy the human terror infrastructure of the Iranian regime.
— Imam of Peace / Pray for Peace… (@Imamofpeace) January 3, 2020
2 months – 5 high-value terrorists eliminated – extremely minimal American casualties
Earlier today President Trump explained his strategy:
As president my highest and most solemn duty is the defense of our nation and its citizens. Last night, at my direction, the United States military successfully executed a flawless precision strike that killed the number one terrorist anywhere in the world, Qassem Soleimani.
Soleimani was plotting imminent and sinister attacks on American diplomats and military personnel, but we caught him in the act and terminated him.
Under my leadership America’s policy is unambiguous to terrorists who harm or intend to harm any American. We will find you. We will eliminate you. We will always protect our diplomats, service members, all Americans and our allies.