A quick review of the major military related headlines from the last week:
Aftermath of the drone strike at Baghdad International Airport that killed General Soleimani.
Photo Credit: Iraqi Prime Minister Press Office.
- Acting on intelligence that he was in Iraq to plan attacks on American personnel the United States killed Major General Qasem Soleimani, commander of Iran’s Revolutionary Guard Corps’ Quds Force, in a drone strike at Baghdad International Airport. The Quds Force, recently designated a terrorist organization by the State Department, is the Revolutionary Guard unit tasked with irregular warfare and intelligence. Their collaboration with militant and terrorist organizations throughout the Middle East has led directly to numerous deaths of Americans, not to mention countless others, over the last few decades.
- The death of Soleimani is the latest development in a series of escalating events in Iraq:
- Last week over 30 rockets struck a base in Iraq housing US personnel. Early reports indicated only injuries, but it soon became clear that, in addition to wounded US and Iraqi troops an American contractor was killed.
- In response, the United States bombed several camps of the militant group believed to be behind the attack, the Iranian-backed Kata'ib Hezbollah (KH).
- A mob of Iraqi civilians and militiamen outraged by the bombings breached the walls of the US embassy in Baghdad, burning several buildings and causing a great deal of damage. They later withdrew without taking or inflicting any casualties.
- President Trump and Iranian Ayatollah Ali Khamenei exchanged barbs via Twitter and television, including a particularly pointed taunt from the Iranian supreme leader that Trump, “can't do a damn thing!”
- President Trump ordered the strike to eliminate General Soleimani and four others who were with him, including the leader of the aforementioned KH militia.
- Iran has already named Soleimani’s replacement and promised retribution against the US.
Taiwan's late Chief of the General Staff, General Shen Yi-ming, in a photo from earlier this year.
- General Shen Yi-ming, Taiwan’s top military officer, died in a helicopter crash along with seven others.
- Reports that the Taliban ruling council had agreed to a temporary ceasefire while peace negotiations are carried out proved to be, unfortunately, inaccurate. A wave of attacks by the group killed over two dozen Afghan security forces personnel this week.
- The Army has banned TikTok on the recommendation of the Pentagon over fears that the Chinese-based app could be exploited by foreign intelligence services.
- In a move sure to incite jealousy across all branches, a practicing Norse pagan US Army soldier has been officially granted a waiver to grow a beard in uniform.
Looking sharp, Sergeant 1st Class Benjamin Hopper. Looking sharp. Skol!
In Case You Missed It
This Week in Military History: The Pennsylvania Line Mutiny of 1781 is notable for a number of interesting facts, particularly how successful it was. And how much it infuriated George Washington.
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