UPDATE (1/2/2020): Airstrike at Baghdad airport, says Iran's Soleimani was killed

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#1  Edited By nintendoboy16
Member since 2007 • 38092 Posts

CNN

(CNN)Protesters attacked the US Embassy in Baghdad on Tuesday, scaling the walls and forcing the gates, but failing to breach the compound as hundreds demonstrated against American airstrikes on an Iran-backed militia group in Iraq.

US officials and lawmakers placed blame for the protests squarely on Iran, with President Donald Trump tweeting that Tehran "will be held fully responsible.

"Two sources at the demonstration witnessed the attempt to break into the premises, adding that security personnel fired tear gas to repel the attack. Video footage shows demonstrators smashing windows, burning items outside and throwing rocks over the walls.

The embassy, in Baghdad's green zone, has been put under lockdown, but protesters have not been able to breach the compound, an embassy spokesperson told CNN. US ambassador to Iraq Matthew Tueller has been on vacation for more than a week, but a State Department spokesperson said Tueller is returning to the embassy.

The attacks are a response to US airstrikes against an Iran-backed militia that formally sits under the control of Iraq's prime minister. The airstrikes have caused tension with Baghdad, where officials accused the US of attacking without sufficient evidence, violating Iraqi sovereignty and threatening the country's security.

Both sides signaled Tuesday that the situation could escalate, while US officials stressed their readiness to protect American personnel, flying Apache helicopters over the embassy in a show of force and announcing that Marine reinforcements will be sent to bolster security at the embassy.

White House spokeswoman Stephanie Grisham cast the protests as an Iranian "escalation," saying that "it will be the President's choice how and when we respond."

Meanwhile, a spokesman for the Iran-backed militia, Kataib Hezbollah, told CNN that the embassy protests were only a "first step."

"The American administration should understand the following: the first step was to protest near the American embassy, we are waiting their reactions to determine the second step," Mohamad Mouhiye said, calling for the US to shut down the embassy and withdraw from Iraq.

"First, close the doors of the evil embassy, which we consider a spy building and an operations room to administer and sabotage Iraq's wellbeing," Mouhiye said. "We also call on the US to withdraw their military forces which are in Iraq illegally," he said.

"This protest was a stand against US political dominance," he said.

Defense Secretary Mark Esper released a statement announcing the deployment of the additional Marines and said the Pentagon is working closely with the State Department to ensure the safety of the embassy and staff in Baghdad. He also reminded Iraq of its obligations under international law.

"We have taken appropriate force protection actions to ensure the safety of American citizens, military personnel and diplomats in country, and to ensure our right of self-defense," Esper said. "As in all countries, we rely on host nation forces to assist in the protection of our personnel in country, and we call on the Government of Iraq to fulfill its international responsibilities to do so.

"It is not clear how many people are inside the embassy, but it is the US' largest diplomatic mission in the world, with around 16,000 staff. The compound covers around 100 acres, around the same size as the Vatican City.The pro-Iranian demonstrators were mostly from Iraq's Popular Mobilization Units (PMU), a coalition of predominantly Shiite militias. Formed in 2014 to fight ISIS, the PMU were recognized under a 2016 Iraqi law as an independent military force that answers directly to the prime minister.

Despite the Iraqi law, most observers see many of those groups, including Kataib Hezbollah, as maintaining strong links to Iran and its security forces, from which they receive funding and other support, as well as some direction.

Three leaders of powerful militia groups were also seen at the protest, including Kataib Hezbollah leader Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis.

The US carried out five airstrikes in Iraq and Syria on Sunday on facilities controlled by Kataib Hezbollah, killing at least 25 people and wounding 51, in the first significant US military response to weeks of deadly rocket attacks by the Iran-backed group on US-Iraqi targets.

US officials said the strikes were carried out with F-15 Strike Eagle fighter planes and targeted weapons storage facilities and command and control locations used by Kataib Hezbollah. The Pentagon said the locations had been used "to plan and execute attacks" on joint US-Iraq forces.

The strikes and ensuing protests come at a time of high tensions between the US and Iran, and have stoked fears of a new proxy war in the Middle East.

Washington has tightened the economic squeeze on Tehran this year through its "maximum pressure" campaign, while Iran has responded with what it calls for "maximum resistance," including reducing its compliance to the international nuclear deal.

The Trump administration pulled the US out of that deal in May 2018, sparking a campaign of provocation between the two nations that has included attacks by Iran or its proxies on US allies and oil infrastructure and shipping.

Some on Twitter are calling this Trump's own "Benghazi" situation. If that's the case, ain't that ironic?

And here's a MAJOR update

AP

Baghdad (AP) — Iraqi TV and three Iraqi officials said Friday that Gen. Qassim Soleimani, the head of Iran’s elite Quds Force, has been killed in an airstrike at Baghdad’s international airport.

The officials said the strike also killed Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis, the deputy commander of Iran-backed militias known as the Popular Mobilization Forces.

Their deaths are a potential turning point in the Middle East and are expected to draw severe retaliation from Iran and the forces it backs in the Middle East against Israel and American interests.

The PMF blamed the United States for an attack at Baghdad International Airport Friday.

There was no immediate comment from the U.S. or Iran.

THIS IS A BREAKING NEWS UPDATE. AP’s earlier story follows below.

An official with an Iran-backed paramilitary force said Friday that seven people were killed by a missile fired at Baghdad International Airport, blaming the United States.

The official with the group known as the Popular Mobilization Forces said the dead included its airport protocol officer, identifying him as Mohammed Reda.

A security official confirmed that seven people were killed in the attack on the airport, describing it as an airstrike. Earlier, Iraq’s Security Media Cell, which releases information regarding Iraqi security, said Katyusha rockets landed near the airport’s cargo hall, killing several people and setting two cars on fire.

It was not immediately clear who fired the missile or rockets or who was targeted. There was no immediate comment from the U.S.

The security official said the bodies of those killed in the airport attack Friday were burned and difficult to identify. The official added that Reda may have been at the airport to pick up a group of “high-level” visitors who had arrived from a neighboring country. He declined to provide more information.

The attack came amid tensions with the United States after a New Year’s Eve attack by Iran-backed militias on the U.S. Embassy in Baghdad. The two-day embassy attack which ended Wednesday prompted President Donald Trump to order about 750 U.S. soldiers deployed to the Middle East.

The breach at the embassy followed U.S. airstrikes on Sunday that killed 25 fighters of the Iran-backed militia in Iraq, the Kataeb Hezbollah. The U.S. military said the strikes were in retaliation for last week’s killing of an American contractor in a rocket attack on an Iraqi military base that the U.S. blamed on the militia.

U.S. officials have suggested they were prepared to engage in further retaliatory attacks in Iraq.

“The game has changed,” Defense Secretary Mark Esper said Thursday, telling reporters that violent acts by Iran-backed Shiite militias in Iraq — including the rocket attack on Dec. 27 that killed one American — will be met with U.S. military force.

He said the Iraqi government has fallen short of its obligation to defend its American partner in the attack on the U.S. embassy.

The developments also represent a major downturn in Iraq-U.S. relations that could further undermine U.S. influence in the region and American troops in Iraq and weaken Washington’s hand in its pressure campaign against Iran.

Oh holy hell! This is going to get REAL ugly.

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#2 deactivated-5f9e3c6a83e51
Member since 2004 • 57548 Posts

@nintendoboy16 said:

CNN

\

Some on Twitter are calling this Trump's own "Benghazi" situation. If that's the case, ain't that ironic?

I don't think anyone was killed at the embassy in Baghdad. The ambassador is alive, I believe. Just rioting outside. But I haven't been following it closely.

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watercrack445

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#3 watercrack445
Member since 2017 • 2537 Posts

Yeah, Iran has major influence in most of the middle eastern countries right now. Their trying to take over the entire region through it proxies, which is backed by Russia politically and militarily. I think China is also getting kinda involved with this geopolitical game by indirectly siding with Iran. Last week or so, China, Iran and Russia held a naval drill together. Also, Iran is major part of the oil industry and the new Belt and Silk Road development which is in the way of China by American sanctions on Iran.

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#4 deactivated-5ecb2e9232c57
Member since 2019 • 653 Posts

They’re just retaliating against the American occupiers.

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deactivated-5e9044657a310

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#5 deactivated-5e9044657a310
Member since 2005 • 8136 Posts

Trump's playing golf

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#6 ulfrinn
Member since 2019 • 158 Posts

@leicam6 said:

They’re just retaliating against the American occupiers.

So you are backing Russian interests in the Middle East? Gotcha.

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#7  Edited By sakaiXx  Online
Member since 2013 • 10662 Posts

Welp I am not gonna blame those protesters we kinda come and strike univited of course people are mad. If anything had the situation becomes increasingly bad and people get hurt the blame lies squarely on American operation.

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plageus900

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#8 plageus900
Member since 2013 • 3065 Posts

Trump says Iran will pay a 'Big Price' for this. I wonder if the price will be as big as his giant, butterball ass.

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#9 mrbojangles25
Member since 2005 • 49254 Posts

This is a mess, either way you spin it.

For a while there I actually thought shit was doing OK in Iraq...relatively speaking.

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#10 JimB
Member since 2002 • 2952 Posts

@plageus900 said:

Trump says Iran will pay a 'Big Price' for this. I wonder if the price will be as big as his giant, butterball ass.

Maybe he will send them plane loads of money like Obama.

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#11 Zaryia
Member since 2016 • 14747 Posts

@JimB said:
@plageus900 said:

Trump says Iran will pay a 'Big Price' for this. I wonder if the price will be as big as his giant, butterball ass.

Maybe he will send them plane loads of money like Obama.

Trump really screwed up by breaking the Iran Nuclear deal, what a blunder.

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#12 plageus900
Member since 2013 • 3065 Posts

@JimB: How many times are you going to spout off this lie? Obama didn't send 'pallet loads' of cash to Iran. As part of the Nuclear deal, our government released the hold on $1.9 billion in Iranian assets.

Iranian. Assets.

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#13 topgunmv
Member since 2003 • 10821 Posts

@mrbojangles25 said:

This is a mess, either way you spin it.

For a while there I actually thought shit was doing OK in Iraq...relatively speaking.

You mean aside from the hundreds of protestors the Iraqi government has killed?

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#14 mrbojangles25
Member since 2005 • 49254 Posts

@topgunmv said:
@mrbojangles25 said:

This is a mess, either way you spin it.

For a while there I actually thought shit was doing OK in Iraq...relatively speaking.

You mean aside from the hundreds of protestors the Iraqi government has killed?

hence the "relatively" part of "relatively speaking".

At least they aren't being killed by the thousands by foreign invaders, right?

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#15 foxhound_fox
Member since 2005 • 98532 Posts

Ah, the result of nearly 20 years of American imperialism coming to fruition. Thousands of Americans, hundreds of thousands of Iraqi and Afghanis dead so a bunch of corporations can line their pockets with blood money.

And what's starting to become clearer to me is how HW Bush has likely orchestrated every major conflict the US has been involved with for the last 50-some years (either indirectly during his alleged time working for the CIA or directly as President), and for no reason beyond war profiteering.

But that doesn't surprise me, he learned from the best (his father Prescott Bush was the king of war profiteers during WWII, and his mother's family, the Walkers, built their fortune on the slave trade).

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#16  Edited By deactivated-5ecb2e9232c57
Member since 2019 • 653 Posts

@ulfrinn said:
@leicam6 said:

They’re just retaliating against the American occupiers.

So you are backing Russian interests in the Middle East? Gotcha.

Who cares? Russia is a nobody on the world stage at best, and a pariah at worst. They only seem like a big deal because the current US administration is such a disgrace it can’t even handle the failed state that is modern Russia.

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#17 mattbbpl
Member since 2006 • 19589 Posts

@plageus900: He knows. So do the others. Just about every Republican on this board has gone "full Jim", and it's not because they don't know any better.

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#18 joebones5000
Member since 2016 • 3223 Posts

Another Trump failure.

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#19 JimB
Member since 2002 • 2952 Posts

@plageus900 said:

@JimB: How many times are you going to spout off this lie? Obama didn't send 'pallet loads' of cash to Iran. As part of the Nuclear deal, our government released the hold on $1.9 billion in Iranian assets.

Iranian. Assets.

It was a payoff plain and simple. You let them have access to their bank accounts, you don"t fly over several huge transport plane loaded with money of various currency.

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#20 JimB
Member since 2002 • 2952 Posts
@mattbbpl said:

@plageus900: He knows. So do the others. Just about every Republican on this board has gone "full Jim", and it's not because they don't know any better.

What did Obama do when our embassy was attacked in Libya he hid and blamed it on a movie no one saw. Trump sent a clear message you kill ours and we will kill yours. A message they understand. To bad the left doesn't.

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#24 LJS9502_basic
Member since 2003 • 172284 Posts

@JimB: What are you doing? Three posts to yourself?

@JimB said:
@JimB: @JimB:
@JimB said:
@JimB:
@JimB said:
@JimB:

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#25 JimB
Member since 2002 • 2952 Posts

@LJS9502_basic said:

@JimB: What are you doing? Three posts to yourself?

@JimB said:
@JimB: @JimB:
@JimB said:
@JimB:
@JimB said:
@JimB:

I tried posting something but the post wouldn't appear.

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#26 nintendoboy16
Member since 2007 • 38092 Posts

Oh here's a MAJOR update in Iraq. Holy...

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#27 deactivated-5ecb2e9232c57
Member since 2019 • 653 Posts

US just basically assassinated the second most powerful person in Iran.

President under impeachment going to launch a war against Iran. Wow

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#28 nintendoboy16
Member since 2007 • 38092 Posts

@leicam6 said:

US just basically assassinated the second most powerful person in Iran.

President under impeachment going to launch a war against Iran. Wow

Oh dear god... this is going to be worse than Vietnam, I can tell. Here comes a new draft.

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#29 ad1x2
Member since 2005 • 8428 Posts

@nintendoboy16 said:

Oh here's a MAJOR update in Iraq. Holy...

Most likely unrelated...

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#30 Master_Live
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#31 PraetorianMan
Member since 2011 • 2073 Posts

Multiple things can be true at once

1. Qassim Soleimani Was a bad person who probably deserves to die

2. Killing him in an international civilian airport in Iraq is all sorts of tucked up

3. This is probably not part of any kind of well thought out, coherent strategy

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#32 LJS9502_basic
Member since 2003 • 172284 Posts

This won't backfire...….

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#33 ad1x2
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For the people not sure about who this Iranian general was, according to the State Department, it is estimated that his forces were responsible for up to 17% of the deaths of U.S. troops in Iraq from 2003 to 2011.

One of Iran’s most revered military commanders has been killed in a strike near the Baghdad International, the Pentagon confirmed Thursday evening.

“At the direction of the President, the U.S. military has taken decisive defensive action to protect U.S. personnel abroad by killing Qasem Soleimani, the head of the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps-Quds Force, a U.S.-designated Foreign Terrorist Organization,” the Department of Defense said in an emailed statement.

The Associated press reported that Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis, the deputy commander of the Popular Mobilization Forces was also killed in the strike.

The DoD said Soleimani was “actively developing plans to attack American diplomats and service members in Iraq and throughout the region. General Soleimani and his Quds Force were responsible for the deaths of hundreds of American and coalition service members and the wounding of thousands more.”

The Pentagon also said Soleimani orchestrated the Dec. 27 rocket attack on the Kirkuk military installation that resulted in the death of an American contractor and wounded four American troops.

Moreover, a State Department report said that Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps was responsible for 17 percent of all deaths of U.S. personnel in Iraq from 2003 to 2011— roughly 603 casualties.

William Fallon, a retired admiral who ran U.S. Central Command from March, 2007 to March, 2008, told Military Times that Soleimani’s death is a “significant blow” to Iran.

“There is little doubt in my mind he was in Baghdad orchestrating activity,” said Fallon, who in his role as CENTCOM commander dealt with Soleimani’s actions in Iraq. “Those were not protests, they were coordinated attacks on the embassy.”

Hopefully, this doesn't resort in thousands more dead if this leads to war, but only time will tell.

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#34 Master_Live
Member since 2004 • 20467 Posts

First time watching CNN in a long time.

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watercrack445

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#35 watercrack445
Member since 2017 • 2537 Posts

I don't think a war might happen if that is what people are fearing about. Tensions will increase for a while and then go back "normal". Same thing that happened with NK, Venezuela, Russia, etc.

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#36 deactivated-5f9e3c6a83e51
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@PraetorianMan said:

Multiple things can be true at once

1. Qassim Soleimani Was a bad person who probably deserves to die

2. Killing him in an international civilian airport in Iraq is all sorts of tucked up

3. This is probably not part of any kind of well thought out, coherent strategy

Yeah, this whole thing is all messed up. I'm sure Iran will retaliate in some way. Maybe another embassy attack or likely some bombing of a soft target.

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#37 MirkoS77
Member since 2011 • 15978 Posts

Not that I necessarily disagree with this strike, but I’d be a lot more comfortable if I believed there existed a coherent foreign policy strategy behind it.

I thought we don’t wish to meddle in others’ affairs? Why aren’t we closing all of our embassies across the globe? Are we following interventionism, or isolationism? Does this administration have any foreign policy goal at all instead of just winging it day to day?

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#38 plageus900
Member since 2013 • 3065 Posts

@nintendoboy16: I doubt there would be a draft. Our volunteer force is probably big enough. I could be wrong.

Anyway, I'm too old to be drafted. Lolol

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#39  Edited By deactivated-5ecb2e9232c57
Member since 2019 • 653 Posts

Quite a statement. Admitting that they killed him not for something he did but on the off chance he may do something later. That sets a horrifying precedent.

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#40 deactivated-5f3ec00254b0d
Member since 2009 • 6278 Posts

I hope Iran retaliates in kind.

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#41 Chutebox  Online
Member since 2007 • 47336 Posts

@nintendoboy16 said:
@leicam6 said:

US just basically assassinated the second most powerful person in Iran.

President under impeachment going to launch a war against Iran. Wow

Oh dear god... this is going to be worse than Vietnam, I can tell. Here comes a new draft.

Lol?

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#42 Chutebox  Online
Member since 2007 • 47336 Posts
@leicam6 said:

Quite a statement. Admitting that they killed him not for something he did but on the off chance he may do something later. That sets a horrifying precedent.

You might want to read the whole thing.

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#43 ulfrinn
Member since 2019 • 158 Posts

Si vis pacem, para bellum.

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#44 ulfrinn
Member since 2019 • 158 Posts

This general they just killed, it seems he was the one orchestrating the attacks against Americans and against the embassy.

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#45 deactivated-5ecb2e9232c57
Member since 2019 • 653 Posts

@Chutebox said:
@leicam6 said:

Quite a statement. Admitting that they killed him not for something he did but on the off chance he may do something later. That sets a horrifying precedent.

You might want to read the whole thing.

I did, and I’m laughing at you believing accusations by the US government without any proof.

Americans are so gullible no wonder Trump is leading you to yet another foreign war.

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#46 Chutebox  Online
Member since 2007 • 47336 Posts

@leicam6: I don't know what's true and neither do you. The only thing false, as far as we know, is your comment.

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#47 theone86
Member since 2003 • 22669 Posts

The conservative coverage of this would be hilarious if it wasn't such an important event.

Conservatives in 2003: Saddam Hussein is the biggest bad guy in the world, he needs to go!

Conservatives in 2011: ISIS represents an imminent threat to the entire free world!

Soleimani leads the fight against both Hussein and ISIS

Conservatives in 2020: Soleimani is the biggest bad guy in the world, he had to go!

Time to wake up to the bullshit, guys.

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#48 Xabiss
Member since 2012 • 4382 Posts

Seems Iraqis are glad he is gone.

https://twitter.com/SecPompeo/status/1212955403077767168

Dancing in the streets. The man was bad and all I can say is BYE FELICIA!

Then you have the liberal sympathizers. ROFLMAO!

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the_master_race

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#49 the_master_race
Member since 2015 • 5156 Posts

@ulfrinn said:

This general they just killed, it seems he was the one orchestrating the attacks against Americans and against the embassy.

not only the embassy, also Yemen, Syria and Saudi Arabia oil attacks , he was IRGC's mascot

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#50  Edited By Damedius
Member since 2010 • 737 Posts

You gotta love American chutzpah.

Invading and occupying countries while claiming they are the victims.

It must suck living in a world where everyone hates you for your freedom.