Commander of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) Quds Force, Brigadier General Esmail Qaani, has warned that Iran will take "hard revenge" for the assassination of the previous head of the force, General Qassem Soleimani, and that the retribution will come "from within the US".
He added that Tehran will use its own tactics and methods to hold the people responsible for Soleimani's death accountable. Qaani noted that it would be "wiser" for the US to deal with the "criminals"
themselves, because otherwise, the "children of the Resistance Front" will take the matter into their own hands.
The commander of the Quds Force, IRGC's foreign branch, did not elaborate on what methods Iran plans to use in its revenge, but noted that ejecting American forces from the Middle East region is on that list.
General Qassem Soleimani was killed on 3 January 2020 in a US drone strike as he was leaving the Baghdad airport in a car with the second-in-command of Iraq's Popular Mobilisation Forces, Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis. The attack was ordered by then-US President Donald Trump
, who claimed that Soleimani was plotting attacks against American "interests" in the region. The White House never presented evidence to support the claim.
Tehran responded to the assassination five days later launching a massive missile strike on two Iraqi bases hosting American troops - the Ain al-Asad and Erbil airbases. The US servicemen there managed to get into bunkers in time before the missiles hit, but several troops still received non-fatal injuries as a result of the strike. Iran stressed that it was just the "first slap" and that true revenge will come later.