Middle East

Iran’s supreme leader names new commander of Quds Force

Move comes after ex-commander Qasem Soleimani killed in US airstrike in Iraq

Zehra Nur Duz   | 03.01.2020
Iran’s supreme leader names new commander of Quds Force Ismail Qaani has been appointed as commander of the Iranian Revolutionary Guards' Quds Forces after a drone strike near Baghdad International Airport killed Qasem Soleimani, on January 3, 2020 in Tehran, Iran. ( Iranian Leader Press Office / Handout - Anadolu Agency )

ANKARA

Iran’s supreme leader named Friday Brig. Gen. Ismail Qaani as the new commander of the elite Quds Force, state media reported.

Qaani will serve as the successor of Qasem Soleimani, who was killed in a U.S. airstrike in Iraq on Thursday.

The new commander has served as the deputy chief for Soleimani, IRNA reported.

He has also led the Nasr-5 and Imam Reza-21 Brigade during the Iran-Iraq war.

The U.S. strike came amid heightened tensions after thousands of Iran-backed protesters stormed the U.S. Embassy compound in Baghdad on Tuesday.

Soleimani was the long-time commander of Iran's Revolutionary Guards Corps Quds Force, which has been designated as a terror group in the U.S. since 2007. The group is estimated to have 20,000 members.

Shortly after reports of the airstrike, U.S. President Donald Trump posted the U.S. flag on Twitter with no comment.

The Pentagon accused Soleimani of planning to carry out attacks on U.S. diplomats and service members in Iraq and the region, saying the slain leader was responsible for the deaths of hundreds of Americans and coalition service members.

* Writing by Zehra Nur Duz

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