Ex Israeli intelligence chief acknowledges Israel’s involvement in Soleimani's assassination
Major General Tamir Hayman admitted that Israel played a role in the Iranian general’s death. Taking out the head of the Qods force was one of two “significant and important” assassinations during his tenure. Israel has conducted “multiple operations” against its “main enemy” Iran.
Jerusalem (AsiaNews) – Israel has admitted playing a leading role in the US operation that killed top Iranian general Qasem Soleimani in early January 2020, this according to former Israeli army intelligence chief Tamir Hayman.
Experts note that this is the first time an Israeli official admits to a targeted killing of a major Iranian official or someone tied to the Islamic Republic. Hitherto, the Jewish State refrained from making any claim.
Soleimani, commander of the Qods Force, was killed in a drone attack while near Baghdad International Airport. He was thought to be the mastermind of pro-Iranian proxies in the Mideast.
According to Israeli newspaper Haaretz, Major General Tamir Hayman told the Israel Intelligence Heritage and Commemoration Centre that Soleimani's killing was one of "two significant and important assassinations" during his tenure, which ended in October.
The other assassination, he said, was that of the military leader of the Islamic Jihad in Gaza, Bahaa Abu Al-Ata.
For Hayman, "Soleimani's assassination is an achievement, since our main enemy, in my eyes, are the Iranians.” But Israel carried out multiple operations to disrupt the spread of Iranian weapons and funds throughout the region.
Several days after the assassination, US-based NBC News reported that Israeli intelligence had helped the United States kill Soleimani.
According to the report, informants at Damascus international airport tipped off the CIA about the time Soleimani's plane took off for Baghdad, while Israel confirmed the intelligence provided to the Americans.
Considered the second most influential figure in the country after Grand Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, the 62-year-old “martyr” was a national hero, even among those who do not support the ruling clergy. His funeral turned into a moment of collective tribute.