According to reporting from CNN, “ISIS has claimed responsibility for the deadly twin blasts near the burial site of slain military commander Qasem Soleimani in southern Iran.
At least 84 people were killed and 284 injured in the blasts on Wednesday, state-run news agency IRNA reported, in what was the deadliest attack in Iran since its 1979 revolution.
ISIS media wing Al-Furqan issued a statement on Thursday – more than 24 hours after the explosions – claiming two suicide bombers had detonated their explosive vests as Shiite mourners gathered for the fourth anniversary of the assassination of Soleimani near his grave in his hometown of Kerman.
The statement, titled “And Kill Them Wherever You Find Them,” named the two bombers and said they targeted a gathering of “polytheists” near the grave of their “dead leader” Soleimani.
Trump Assassinates Soleimani, Jan. 3, 2020:
While CNN is reporting that ISIS is claiming responsibility for the bombing due to the Shiite leanings of General Soleimani, the timing raises questions. Soleimani was assassinated by the US by Trump and Mike Pompeo’s decree in coordination with John Bolton, Mark Esper and briefly, Gen. McMaster..
While Soleimani was part of the Shiite sect of Islam, his position was as Leader of the Islamic Revolutionary Guards elite Quds unit. As such, his job was to control the various paramilitary forces across the Middle East to unify Iran’s allies in the region. Each unit reported directly to Soleimani who was a favorite of the Supreme Leader, the Ayatollah Khameni, and held the position as the one leader coordinating strikes against anti-Iranian groups. He worked with Hezbollah and Hamas among others to form a united force of Iranian allies. His assassination by Trump resulted in retaliation by Iran and increased sanctions by the US.
Quds forces have engaged against the US as part of tensions in Syria, Lebanon, Afghanistan, Iraq and Palestine.
The US says Israel is not Involved:
“Some Iranian leaders had initially appeared to blame Israel for the attack, stoking fears that the war in Gaza — in which Israel is battling Hamas, a Palestinian ally of Iran — would widen into a regional conflict. But Western officials had cast doubt on that theory, saying that although Israel is believed to have regularly carried out covert operations in Iran, they have typically been targeted operations against specific individuals, Iranian scientists or officials, or strikes to destroy nuclear or weapons facilities.
American officials said that it was unlikely that the Islamic State’s intention was to frame Israel for the bombings or set off a wider war, as had been initially feared. Instead, it was probably seizing an opportunity to hit its longtime enemy.” New York Times