Ex-intel Chief Divulges Israel’s Role in Soleimani Assassination

In this picture released by the official website of the office of the Iranian supreme leader, worshippers chant slogans during Friday prayers ceremony, as a banner show Iranian Revolutionary Guard Gen. Qassem Soleimani, left, and Iraqi Shiite senior militia commander Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis, who were killed in Iraq in a …
Office of the Iranian Supreme Leader via AP

Israel was involved in the American airstrike that killed Iranian Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps Quds Force commander Qassem Soleimani in January 2020, the outgoing head of Israeli military intelligence said.

Former IDF intelligence chief Major General Tamir Hayman said in an interview that the killing was one of  “two significant and important assassinations” during his tenure, the other being Islamic Jihad leader Baha Abu al-Ata.

“Soleimani’s assassination is an achievement, since our main enemy, in my eyes, are the Iranians. Two significant and important assassinations can be noted in my term,” Heyman said.

“The first, as I’ve already recalled, is that of Qassem Soleimani — it’s rare to locate someone so senior, who is the architect of the fighting force, the strategist and the operator — it’s rare,” he said.

Heymen also admitted that Israel has carried out several campaigns to stop the proliferation of Iranian weapons in the region.

Heyman called Soleimani “the engine of the train of Iranian entrenchment” in Syria. Israeli strikes had succeeded in “preventing the attempt by Iran to put down roots in Syria.”

Days after he was killed, NBC News reported that Israeli intelligence helped the United States to assassinate Soleimani.

A Yahoo News report later said Israel “had access to Soleimani’s numbers” and provided that intelligence to the U.S. But Heyman’s admission was the first open confirmation of Israeli involvement.

The news comes ahead of a visit by National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan with Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett in Jerusalem to discuss the Iranian threat.

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