Esmail Ghaani, head of Iran’s expeditionary Quds Force, arrived in Baghdad late March 30 2020
[January 4 2020]
Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei appointed the deputy commander of the Quds Force, Brigadier General Esmail Ghaani, as the successor to Qassem Soleimani who was killed in a US airstrike in Baghdad
“This guy is not going to be another Qassem Soleimani,” Iran expert Karim Abdian told Al Arabiya English.
“This guy is just another person. They wanted to fill the position as soon as possible, to project an image that they are not deterred, that they have many Qassem Soleimani’s but that’s not true,” Abdian said.
“This is just a hasty appointment of a person that doesn’t have the expertise Soleimani had,” he added.
[January 3 2020 Iranian commander killed by U.S. as he descended from his plane ]
al-Muhandis had arrived to the airport in a convoy to receive Soleimani whose plane had arrived from either Lebanon or Syria. Muhandis pulled up to the aircraft steps in two cars before Soleimani and Mohammed Ridha Jabri, public relations chief for the PMF who had been traveling with him, climbed inside and were driven away.
Moments later, as the cars passed through a cargo area headed for an access road leading out of the airport, the convoy was struck by four missiles fired by an MQ-9 Reaper drone.
The U.S. embassy in Baghdad urged all its citizens to leave Iraq immediately, hours after the U.S. killed Iranian Quds Force leader Qassem Soleimani and Iraqi militia commander Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis.
Iraqi officials said the evacuation would not affect operations, production or exports.
UK’s Boris Johnson was not warned about the US airstrike in Iraq that killed a top Iranian general,
Israel doesn’t know if and how Iran is going to retaliate — but, right now, the decision is to keep a low profile and not get involved in the ongoing tensions in Iraq.
IRGC Quds Force commander Qasem Soleimani was among those killed in an air strike on their vehicles inside Baghdad International Airport, militia sources reported on early January 3 2020, after Iraq’s Security Media Cell announced that three katyusha rockets had targeted Baghdad Airport. Iraqi militia commander Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis was also killed.
Brigadier General Hussein Jafari Nia and Major-General Hadi Taremi were named by Iran’s Fars news agency as among five Islamic Revolutionary Guards figures killed in the US strike on Baghdad airport. Also killed were Colonel of the Guards Shahroud Mozaffari Nia and Captain Waheed Zamanian, according to Fars