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Israel shared Iranian General Soleimani's cell phones with US intelligence before drone strike: report

FOX News

Fox News Flash top headlines are here. Check out what's clicking on Foxnews.com. Israel shared three cell phone numbers used by Qasem Soleimani with U.S. intelligence in the hours before American drones unleashed Hellfire missiles on the Iranian general last year, Yahoo News reported Saturday. The revelation sheds new light on the role that Israel played in the killing of Soleimani, who the State Department says was responsible for hundreds of U.S. troop deaths as the head of the Revolutionary Guard's elite Quds Force. The drone strike occurred shortly after midnight on Jan. 2, 2020, as Soleimani and his entourage were leaving Baghdad's international airport.


U.S. nuclear submarine crosses Strait of Hormuz amid tensions

The Japan Times

Dubai/Washington – An American nuclear-powered guided-missile submarine traversed the strategically vital waterway between Iran and the Arabian Peninsula on Monday, the U.S. Navy said, in a rare announcement that comes amid rising tensions with Iran. The Navy's 5th Fleet, based in Bahrain, said the Ohio-class guided-missile submarine USS Georgia, accompanied by two other warships, passed through the Strait of Hormuz, a narrow passageway through which a fifth of the world's oil supplies travel. The unusual transit in the Persian Gulf's shallow waters, aimed at underscoring American military might in the region, follows the killing last month of Mohsen Fakhrizadeh, an Iranian scientist named by the West as the leader of the Islamic Republic's disbanded military nuclear program. It also comes some two weeks before the anniversary of the American drone strike near Baghdad airport in Iraq that killed top Iranian military commander Gen. Qassem Soleimani on Jan. 3. Iran has promised to seek revenge for both killings. The Ohio-class ballistic-missile submarine's presence in Mideast waterways signals the U.S. Navy's "commitment to regional partners and maritime security with a full spectrum of capabilities," the Navy said, demonstrating its readiness "to defend against any threat at any time."


Iran vows 'hit' on all involved in U.S. killing of top general

Boston Herald

The chief of Iran's paramilitary Revolutionary Guard threatened Saturday to go after everyone who had a role in a top general's January killing during a U.S. drone strike in Iraq. The guard's website quoted Gen. Hossein Salami as saying, "Mr. Our revenge for martyrdom of our great general is obvious, serious and real." U.S. President Donald Trump warned this week that Washington would harshly respond to any Iranian attempts to take revenge for the death of Gen. Qassem Soleimani, tweeting that "if they hit us in any way, any form, written instructions already done we're going to hit them 1000 times harder." The president's warning came in response to a report that Iran was plotting to assassinate the U.S. ambassador to South Africa in retaliation for Soleimani's killing at Baghdad's airport at the beginning of the year.


Iran Says It Detained Leader of California-Based Exile Group

NYT > Middle East

Iran on Saturday said it had detained an Iranian-American leader of a little-known, California-based opposition group for allegedly planning a 2008 attack on a mosque that killed 14 people and wounded over 200 others. Iran's Intelligence Ministry also asserted that the detained man, Jamshid Sharmahd of the Kingdom Assembly of Iran, planned more attacks around the Islamic Republic amid heightened tensions between Tehran and the United States. Mr. Sharmahd's reported arrest comes as relations between the U.S. and Iran remain inflamed in the wake of President Donald Trump's 2018 decision to withdraw America from the 2015 multinational nuclear deal. In January, a U.S. drone strike killed a top Iranian general in Baghdad. Iran responded by launching a ballistic missile attack on U.S. soldiers in Iraq that injured dozens.


US denounces UN report on Iran general's 'unlawful' killing

Al Jazeera

The United States lashed out on Wednesday at a United Nations probe into the American drone attack that killed a top Iranian general, saying it gave "a pass to terrorists". US President Donald Trump ordered the killing of Iran's General Qassem Soleimani in a January attack near Baghdad's international airport. The incident stoked fears of an all-out conflict between Iran and the US. The US air raid that killed Soleimani and others in his convoy was "unlawful" and an "arbitrary killing" that violated the UN charter, the UN expert on extrajudicial killings, Agnes Callamard, concluded in a report on Tuesday. She said the US provided no evidence "an imminent attack" against American interests was being planned and, therefore, its "self-defence" justification did not apply.


US killing of Iran's Qassem Soleimani 'unlawful': UN expert

Al Jazeera

The US drone strike that killed Iran's top general Qassem Soleimani was "unlawful", the United Nations expert on extrajudicial killings concluded in a report on Tuesday. US President Donald Trump ordered the killing in a January 3 drone strike near Baghdad international airport. Soleimani was "the world's top terrorist" and "should have been terminated long ago", Trump said at the time. Iraqi commander Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis was also killed in the attack. Callamard concluded that it was an "arbitrary killing" that violated the UN charter.


Rocket Attack Kills Three U.S. Coalition Members in Iraq

NYT > Middle East

The American retaliation led to a siege of the United States Embassy in Baghdad and then an American drone attack that killed the leader of Iran's elite Quds force, Maj. The cycle of attacks and counterattacks ended more than two weeks later after Iran launched 16 cruise missiles at bases in Iraq that house American forces. No one was killed by the Iranian missile attacks and tensions had appeared to subside. An Iraqi military official said that hours after the attack on Wednesday, the American-led coalition responded with airstrikes on camps used by Kataib Hezbollah near Abu Kamal in Syria, just across the border from Qaim, Iraq. However American officials said the United States had not carried out those strikes.


'Doesn't really matter' if there was an imminent threat from Qassem Soleimani: Trump

The Japan Times

WASHINGTON – President Donald Trump on Monday morning defended his decision to kill Iranian commander Qassem Soleimani, contending Soleimani posed an impending threat to the United States but also saying that was not important, given the military leader's history. "The Fake News Media and their Democrat Partners are working hard to determine whether or not the future attack by terrorist Soleimani was'imminent' or not, & was my team in agreement." "The answer to both is a strong YES., but it doesn't really matter because of his horrible past!" Since confirming that Iranian military leader Qassem Soleimani had been killed by a U.S. 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. Democrats and a few Republicans in Congress have questioned the justification of the attacks and said they have not been given adequate, detailed briefings. Last week Trump posited in an interview that Iran had been poised to attack four American embassies before Soleimani was killed in a U.S. drone strike on Jan. 3.


Trump ups Iran accusations, says four U.S. embassies targeted

The Japan Times

WASHINGTON – Confronted by persistent questions about his military action in the Middle East, President Donald Trump and his top officials offered a string of fresh explanations Friday, with Trump now contending Iranian militants had planned major attacks on four U.S. embassies. Just hours earlier, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo had said the U.S. didn't know when or where attacks might occur. Trump and other officials insisted anew that Iranian Gen. Qassem Soleimani had posed an imminent threat to the U.S., but they rebuffed repeated attempts to explain what they meant by "imminent." Trump, meanwhile, announced additional sanctions against Iran, which he had promised after a barrage of missiles fired by the Islamic State against American bases in Iraq earlier this week. Those Iranian missiles, which caused no casualties, were prompted by the U.S. drone strike that killed Gen. Qassem Soleimani last week in Baghdad.


NATO critic Trump now floats expanding group to include Middle East

The Japan Times

WASHINGTON – U.S. President Donald Trump on Thursday said he supported expanding the North American Treaty Organization to include Middle Eastern nations, as the United States seeks to limit its troop footprint globally. "I think that NATO should be expanded and we should include the Middle East, absolutely," Trump told reporters at the White House. Trump proposed increased NATO involvement in the Middle East on Wednesday, when he addressed the Iranian strikes against U.S. troops in Iraq, carried out in retaliation for a U.S. drone strike that killed a top Iranian military commander. The military leader, Qassem Soleimani, played a major role in the fight against Islamic State militants in the region. Trump said Islamic State presented an international problem that other countries should help address.