Soleimani Awarded Syria's Medal of Honor, Posthumously Promoted After US Strike

Daniel Fowler
January 15, 2020

However, in a highly unsafe move, the United States assassinated this anti-terror general in Baghdad on January 3.

Trump reacted to his inability to convince his critics by suggesting that killing Soleimani needed no explanation.

Since confirming that Iranian military leader Qassem Soleimani had been killed by a United States airstrike in Baghdad, administration officials have claimed they acted because of an imminent risk of attacks on American diplomats and service members in Iraq and throughout the region.

But US lawmakers, including some Republicans and Democrats, said the administration has failed to provide evidence that an attack was imminent.

"Awarding this medal reveals the Syrian president's deep affection for General Soleimani and for his brothers in the Islamic Republic of Iran", Syrian Prime Minister Imad Khamis said as he presented the medal, on behalf of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, to Iranian First Vice President Eshaq Jahangiri, Tasnim reported.

"The answer to both is a strong YES., but it doesn't really matter because of his terrible past!"

Mr Trump's fellow Republicans have justified the killing by citing General Soleimani's history, and accuse Democrats of playing politics.

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Relations between the two parties are at a particularly hard juncture, given the vote previous year to impeach Mr Trump in the Democratic-led House and his upcoming trial in the Republican-led Senate.

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and Attorney General William Barr gave voice to the broader rationale on Monday, saying deterrence was a key component of the strike.

Democrats and a few Republicans in Congress have questioned the justification of the attacks and said they had not been given adequate, detailed briefings.

Soleimani, the officials said, had been identified as the target for potential US lethal action months ago, at least since the aftermath of Trump's September decision to call off what was seen to be an imminent strike on Iran.

"It's not a surprise that a terrorist leader in the world had been taken out", he says.

A companion measure has been introduced in the Senate. The announcement came days after Soleimani's death and ahead of Iranian retaliatory missile strikes on two Iraqi bases housing USA and other global troops. US Defence Secretary, Mark Esper, threw further doubts over the official narrative by admitting that he did not see specific evidence "with regard to four embassies". "What the president said was that there probably could be additional attacks against embassies". But Esper said Sunday he hadn't seen specific evidence pointing to such a plot.

"I've spoken a lot about Iran this week and I have nothing more to add", Esper told reporters today at a joint press conference at the Pentagon with his Japanese counterpart.

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