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US Airstrike Failed to Kill Another Iranian Commander

State Department says target has 'a long history of targeting Americans'
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Jan 10, 2020 5:45 PM CST

(Newser) – The US tried, but failed, to take out another senior Iranian commander on the same day that an American airstrike killed the Revolutionary Guard's top general, US officials said Friday. The officials said a military airstrike by special operations forces targeted Abdul Reza Shahlai, a high-ranking commander in Iran's Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps, per the AP, but the mission was not successful. The development was first reported by the Washington Post. The officials spoke on condition of anonymity in order to discuss a classified mission. Officials said both Iranian Gen. Qassem Soleimani and Shahlai were on approved military targeting lists, which indicates a deliberate effort by the US to cripple the leadership of Iran's Quds force, which has been designated a terror organization by the US. Officials would not say how the mission failed.

The State Department offered a reward of $15 million early last month for information leading to the disruption of IRGC finances, including Shahlai, a key financier in the organization. The State Department said he "has a long history of targeting Americans and US allies globally," and planned multiple assassinations of coalition forces in Iraq. The Pentagon declined to discuss the operation. The operation against Shahlai could mean the targeting of Soleimani was part of a broader operation than the US has said, per the Post. The attempt to kill Shahlai wasn't announced because it failed, a US official said. "If we had killed him, we'd be bragging about it that same night," the official said. (US adds Iranian sanctions.)

(Read more Iran stories.)

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