US tried to eliminate another Iranian leader, but failed

Tuesday, 14 Jan, 2020

According to the report, which quotes several U.S. defence officials, the USA military failed to eliminate Abdul Reza Shahlai in an airstrike in Yemen.

Instagram has removed posts that support Qassem Soleimani, the Iranian military leader who was killed in an American strike on January 3, CNN reports.

Facebook has admitted to selectively censoring pro-Iranian government Instagram posts about the murdered General Soleimani, as US President Donald Trump hypocritically championed free speech and warned Tehran against censorship.

The Pentagon has blamed Soleimani and the Quds Force for attacks on coalition bases in Iraq in recent months, including the December 27 strike that killed an American contractor and Iraqi personnel.

The announcement described him as having a "long history of involvement in attacks targeting the US and our allies".

Cmdr. Rebecca Rebarich, Pentagon spokeswoman, said the Defense Department does not discuss "alleged operations" in the Middle East.

In retaliation for killing Soleimani, Iran fired missiles on Wednesday at bases in Iraq where USA troops were stationed. Iran-backed Houthi rebels have been fighting the Saudi-backed government for several years, and the conflict has triggered one of the worst humanitarian crises in the world.

Instagram and Facebook are removing posts that express support for slain top Iranian general Qassem Soleimani to comply with US sanctions, CNN reports.

Back in April, after the United States had designated the IRGC as a terror group, Facebook had blocked the accounts of many top Iranian generals from their platforms, including an account apparently belonging to Soleimani that was active on the media sharing platform Instagram.

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and others in the administration have said the threat posed by Soleimani was imminent, but they have not offered evidence to support that.

According to CNN, Facebook said that Instagram removes accounts run by or on behalf of sanctioned people or organisations to comply with USA law.

Soleimani carved out a sphere of Iranian influence running through Syria, Lebanon, Iraq and Yemen, challenging regional rival Saudi Arabia as well as the United States and Israel.