All Iranian Characters Killed in Jan. 3 US Air Strike, the IRIAF F-14s scrambled to Intercept the MQ-9 UAV that conducted the Air Raid and All the Latest Updates about Major-General Qasem Soleimani’s Death

All Iranian Characters Killed in Jan. 3 US Air Strike, the IRIAF F-14s scrambled to Intercept the MQ-9 UAV that conducted the Air Raid and All the Latest Updates about Major-General Qasem Soleimani’s Death

By Tom Cooper
Jan 4 2020
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The death of Soleimani is going to change exactly nothing because Soleimani was easily ‘replaced’ by several ‘high-class technocrats’ of the IRGC-Quds Force.

As reported by all major media outlets, on Jan. 3, 2020 the US killed Major-General Qasem Soleimani in Baghdad air strike.

To resume, a Joint Special Operations Command (JSOC)-operated MQ-9 Reaper UAV, armed either with GBU-12s or AGM-114s, killed:

  • – Major-General Qasem Soleimani
  • – Major-General Hussein Jaafari Naya (or Niya)
  • – Colonel Shahrud Mudhaffari Niya
  • – Major Hadi Taremi
  • – Captain Vahid Zamaniyan– Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis (head of the Kata’ib Hezbollah an-Nujba)
  • – Muhammed Reza al-Jaberi
  • – Hassan Abdul Hadi
  • – Muhammed ash-Shibani
  • – Haidar Ali
All Iranian Characters Killed in Jan. 3 US Air Strike, the IRIAF F-14s scrambled to Intercept the MQ-9 UAV that conducted the Air Raid and All the Latest Updates about Major-General Qasem Soleimani’s Death
MQ-9 Reaper

Foremost, other really important characters there – like Qais al-Khazali (CO Assaib Ahl al-Haqq), Abu Ala’a al-Wala’i (Katayb Sayd ash-Shuhada), and Shabl az-Zaidi (Katayb Imam Ali) – all came away. Word is, they’re meanwhile in Iran.

The Islamic Republic of Iran Air Force (IRIAF) scrambled a pair of F-14 Tomcat fighters ‘in response’ to the US strike, yesterday in the morning. Of course, they remained well inside the Iranian airspace.

No idea why, but this is kind of leaving me with ‘mixed feelings’.

Why?

First of all, this is coming much too late: at least 10 years too late. Back then, Soleimani was still somebody that actually mattered – in sense of being one ‘organising troubles’ for the Americans in Iraq.

All Iranian Characters Killed in Jan. 3 US Air Strike, the IRIAF F-14s scrambled to Intercept the MQ-9 UAV that conducted the Air Raid and All the Latest Updates about Major-General Qasem Soleimani’s Death
IRIAF F-14A Tomcat

Secondly. it’s as fascinating as ironic to see the US armed forces remaining obsessed with the idea of ‘de-capitating strikes’ – even more so after something like 70-100 years of history of such strikes proving near-pointless.

‘In detail’…. No matter how much famed, Soleimani was never a ‘mastermind’. He was an executor: executor of orders he was receiving ‘directly’ (well: actually via Wahid Haghanian) from the ‘Leader of the Islamic Revolution’, ‘Ayatollah’ Khamenei.

While certainly ‘still intimidating’ for many of Iraqi politicians and few of military commanders, especially back in the 2000s, in Tehran he fell out of favour after failing during the Battle of Tikrit. What happened? He proved an incompetent battlefield commander when failing to organise an ‘IRGC-only’ (IRGC,  Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps) attempt to liberate that city from the Daesh. Ever since, he played the role of a ‘morale booster’ for all the IRGC-run proxies in Iraq and Syria, but had absolutely no say in any kind of tactical decisions.

Actually, the death of Soleimani is going to change exactly nothing because Soleimani was easily ‘replaced’ by several ‘high-class technocrats’ of the IRGC-QF (IRGC-Quds Force) already long before his death, and these have proved their mettle by organising such gangs like the Katayb Hezbollah an-Nujba in Iraq, or diverse of ‘pro-regime militias’ in Syria.

All Iranian Characters Killed in Jan. 3 US Air Strike, the IRIAF F-14s scrambled to Intercept the MQ-9 UAV that conducted the Air Raid and All the Latest Updates about Major-General Qasem Soleimani’s Death
Major-General Qasem Soleimani

Photo credit: U.S. Air Force and Islamic Republic of Iran Air Force

Check out Helion & Company website for books featuring interesting stories written by The Aviation Geek Club contributor Tom Cooper


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Tom Cooper

Tom Cooper

Tom Cooper, from Austria, is a military-aviation journalist and historian. Following a career in a worldwide transportation business — in which, during his extensive travels in Europe and the Middle East, he established excellent contacts — he moved into writing. An earlier fascination with post-Second World War military aviation has narrowed to focus on smaller air forces and conflicts, about which he has collected extensive archives of material. Concentrating primarily on air warfare that has previously received scant attention, he specializes in investigative research on little-known African and Arab air forces, as well as the Iranian Air Force. Cooper has published 21 books — including the unique Arab MiGs' series, which examines the deployment and service history of major Arab air forces in conflicts with Israel — as well as over 200 articles on related topics, providing a window into a number of previously unexamined yet fascinating conflicts and relevant developments.

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