US targeted Iranian commander in Yemen the same night they struck Soleimani

On the night the U.S. assassinated Iranian Maj. Gen. Qassim Suleimani by drone strike, the U.S. launched a similar operation to kill a top Iranian commander in Yemen, a U.S. official told The Intercept.

The operation was aimed at killing Abdul Reza Shahlai, the commander of the Yemen division of Iran’s elite Quds Force, near the Yemeni capital Sana’a. Shahlai survived, but a lower-level Quds Force operative was killed, and Shahlai went into hiding, the official said….

The Trump administration had contemplated killing Shahlai for three years, as a means of deterring further Iranian support for the Houthis in Yemen, the U.S. official told The Intercept. But the attempt to assassinate him on the night of January 2 seems to undercut the government’s stated rationale for killing Suleimani, who U.S. officials have repeatedly described as posing “an imminent threat” to U.S. forces in Iraq.

The Intercept

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