Iran’s Supreme Leader on Friday appointed the deputy commander of the Quds Force, Brigadier General Esmail Ghaani, to replace Qassem Soleimani after the former top general was killed in a U.S. airstrike.
Ayatollah Ali Khamenei said in a statement that the Quds Force “will be unchanged from the time of his predecessor,” according to state media, Reuters reported.
The military unit extends Iran’s influence across the Middle East and is the overseas portion of Iran’s Revolutionary Guards, according to the outlet.
The Pentagon confirmed Thursday night that President Trump ordered an airstrike on Baghdad International Airport that killed Soleimani alongside Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis, the deputy commander of Iran-backed Iraqi militia the Popular Mobilization Forces.
Ghaani became deputy commander of the Quds Force in 1997 when Soleimani became the top commander of the organization, according to Reuters.
He was quoted by Iranian media as saying that Trump’s “threats against Iran will damage America… We have buried many… like Trump and know how to fight against America” in 2017, the outlet reported.
Top Iranian leaders vowed revenge after the deadly airstrike. Khamenei said that a “harsh retaliation is waiting” for the U.S., and Iran’s Foreign Minister Javad Zarif called the move “extremely dangerous & a foolish escalation.”
Source » the hill