Iranian Air Strike and Retaliation

Iranian General Qasem Soleimani was killed in a U.S. ordered airstrike near the Baghdad Airport in Iraq on Jan. 2. 


In May 2019, the Pentagon designated the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps, which was led by Soleimani, as a terrorist group. The Pentagon stated Soleimani and his troops were responsible for the deaths of hundreds of Americans and coalition service members. 


“He was the commander directly responsible for organizing and directing multiple attacks against Americans in the region we’ve seen over the last several months. Soleimani, was actively and consistently developing plans to attack American diplomats and service members in Iraq and throughout the region,” a Department of Defense (DOD) official said. 


President Donald Trump also condemned the Iranian General.


“He trained terrorist armies, including Hezbollah, launching terrorist strikes against civilian targets. He fueled bloody civil wars all across the region. He viciously wounded and murdered thousands of U.S. troops, including the planting of roadside bombs that maim and dismember their victims,” Trump said in a speech at the White House on Jan. 8. 


Trump and the DOD decided to issue the air strike because of Soleimani’s recent actions. As retaliation, Iran fired more than a dozen ballistic missiles at U.S. military bases in Ain al-Assad, in Baghdad, and in Erbil, in the Kurdish region on Jan. 7. 


The U.S. early warning systems were able to detect the incoming ballistic missiles well in advance, providing U.S. and Coalition forces sufficient time to take the appropriate protection measures. 


“I’m pleased to inform you, the American people should be extremely grateful and happy. No Americans were harmed in last night’s attack by the Iranian regime,” Trump said in a speech at the White House on Jan. 8. Trump went on to say the response to Iran’s attacks will be “punishing economic sanctions” against Tehran, Iran’s capital, that will remain until the nation ‘changes its behavior.” Trump also expressed to NATO the need for “much more involvement in the Middle East process.”


“Our retaliation was justified because they [Iran] struck first by killing Americans troops stationed in Iran,” junior Nico Dellobuono said. 


“I think Trump made the right call with ordering the airstrike because the general was leading and supporting terrorist groups in Iran. When it came to the ballistic missiles fired by Iran, I think he was smart to not retaliate but to enforce economic sanctions and if you ask me he’s being pretty lenient considering all that’s happened,” sophomore Nicolo Lorello said.