Former CIA Director Gen. (ret.) David Petraeus has offered praise for President Donald Trump for the operation which killed Iranian general Qasem Soleimani.
“It’s impossible to overstate the importance of this particular action,” Petraeus said, speaking to Foreign Policy.
According to the general, who commanded US troops in Iraq and Afghanistan during the Bush and Obama administrations, Soleimani’s death was “more significant than the killing of Osama bin Laden or even the death of [Daesh* leader Abu Bakr] al-Baghdadi.”
Calling Soleimani the “architect and operational commander” of Iran’s alleged efforts to take control of the region, Petraeus suggested that the Iranian commander's assassination seemed to be aimed at showing that the US would not continue to allow US interests in the region to be threatened “without a very significant response.”
Petraeus has long accused Soleimani of undermining Washington’s work with Iraq’s Shia Muslims, and of undoing US diplomatic and military efforts in Lebanon. The US general's critics, meanwhile, have accused him of helping to arm and train the Iraqi militia forces which later morphed into Daesh. In 2015, Petraeus reportedly sought to engage the help of al-Qaeda fighters in Syria to fight Daesh.
Petraeus, once considered by Trump for a post in the Trump administration, resigned as director of the CIA in 2012 after admitted to having a an extramarital affair with his biographer. Three years later, he pled guilty to a misdemeanor charge for the mishandling of classified documents.
Already tense relations between Iran and the United States sunk to new lows after the US assassinated Revolutionary Guard Quds Force commander Qasem Soleimani and a senior Iraqi Shia militia leader in Baghdad on Friday morning. The killing has led to threats of tit-for-tat responses by both sides. During his tenure as Quds force chief, Soleimani played a key role in assisting Iraqi Shia militias in their war against Daesh. In Syria, his forces provided assistance to Syrian Army forces in their fight against Daesh, al-Qaeda* and other terrorist groups.
*Terrorist groups outlawed in Russia and many other countries.