The former head of Israel’s military intelligence has confirmed that Israel played a part in the assassination of Qassem Soleimani near Baghdad last year.
By World Israel News Staff
Israel played a part in the assassination of Iranian Revolutionary Guards’ Quds Force commander Qassem Soleimani in January 2020, a former head of Israeli military intelligence has confirmed.
Speaking to the Israeli Intelligence Heritage and Commemoration Center’s Malam magazine, Maj.-Gen. (ret.) Tamir Hayman confirmed the Jewish state “played a role” in the U.S.-led assassination. Soleimani was killed by a U.S. drone strike near Baghdad, along with other senior Iranian operatives.
“Soleimani’s assassination is an achievement, since our main enemy, in my eyes, are the Iranians,” Hayman said. “It is rare to locate someone so senior who is also the operator on the ground, the strategist and the fighter.”
As the head of the Quds Force, Soleimani was involved in a number of operations across the region and was close to Iran’s supreme leader, Ali Khamenei.
Hayman described the murder as one of “two significant and important assassinations” that took place during his tenure, the other being Islamic Jihad leader Baha Abu al-Ata in November 2019.
Although there have been reports previously that Israel was involved in the killing, this is the first time an Israeli operative has confirmed his country’s involvement.
Days after the targeted strike that took Soleimani out, NBC reported that Israel had played a role by confirming intelligence coming from informants at Damascus airport, who alerted the CIA that Soleimani’s plane had taken off.
In May, it was revealed that Israel had handed over access to a number of cell phones used by Soleimani to help the Americans track him.
Last week, Axios reported on a conversation between former President Donald Trump, who was commander in chief at the time of the strike, and an Israeli reporter, Barak Ravid, in which Trump conveyed that he “was very disappointed in Israel having to do with that event.”
Trump added that former Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu had been “willing to fight Iran to the last American soldier.”
Meanwhile, Hayman further told Malam that Israel has been largely successful in preventing Iran from entrenching itself in Syria as a base from which to attack the Jewish state.
“We thwarted a lot of ways they tried to smuggle weapons and money, and the headline of all of this is stopping the Iranians from entrenching themselves in Syria,” he said.