In the wee hours of Friday morning, President Trump approved a drone strike that eliminated Iranian commander Qassem Soleimani.
The strike hit Soleimani’s convoy at the Baghdad International Airport.
According to ELINT News, Middle Eastern network Ahad TV released the exclusive footage of the moment the U.S. drone struck the military leaders.
— ELINT News (@ELINTNews) January 3, 2020
The drone that performed the stealth execution was a Reaper MQ-9, one of the most advanced weapons in the United States military’s arsenal.
“The MQ-9’s range, loiter time, and precision strike capability make it an ideal armed ISR [intelligence, surveillance, reconnaissance] platform for low threat environments,” retired Air Force pilot and Heritage Foundation senior fellow John Venable told the Washington Examiner.
“Assuming the U.S. had intel on the rough itinerary of Soleimani’s flight and/or had been following the movements of Muhandis in and around Baghdad, the Reaper’s capabilities allowed the U.S. not just to be overhead to observe the meeting, but to eliminate those threats,” Venable said.
Retired Air Force Lt. Gen. David Deptula also praised the military and their execution.
“The MQ-9 Reaper is the perfect weapon system for this job and highlights airpower’s ability to project accurate, timely, and lethal power,” Deptula stated.
“The strike was a measured and appropriate response after 18 months of restraint by the Trump administration to a series of aggressive Iranian violations of international law. He set a red line, warned Iran not to cross it, and when they did he acted appropriately to defend American personnel and interests.” Deputla concluded.
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