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Qassim Soleimani killed many American troops in Iraq.

Soleimani and his Quds Force of the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps were responsible for the deaths of hundreds of American soldiers in Iraq.

Soleimani and his Quds Force of the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps were responsible for the deaths of hundreds of American soldiers in Iraq.In Jan 2020, the commander, Maj. Gen. Qassim Suleimani, who led the powerful Quds Force of the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps, was killed along with several officials from Iraqi militias backed by Tehran when an American MQ-9 Reaper drone fired missiles into a convoy that was leaving the airport.

American officials accused General Suleimani of causing hundreds of soldiers’ deaths during the Iraq war when he provided Iraqi insurgents with advanced bomb-making equipment and training. They also say he has masterminded destabilizing Iranian activities that continue throughout the Middle East and were aimed at the United States, Israel, and Saudi Arabia.

The American-led invasion that toppled Iraqi President Saddam Hussein unleashed sectarian violence, pitting its minority Sunni Muslim population against the Shiite majority. Iran, their Shiite neighbor to the east and Iraq’s long-time enemy, saw an opportunity to expand its influence, empowered by the embrace of many Shiite Iraqis.

At the direction of Soleimani and his Iranian Quds Force, Iran became a source of arms, funding, and political guidance that allowed some Iraqi Shiite militias to thrive. They used a range of weapons against American and Iraqi forces. They had small arms, mortars, and rocket-propelled grenades. It is reported that Iran spread a particularly deadly form of a roadside bomb. In the form of improvised explosive devices (IEDs), roadside bombs were responsible for nearly half of all deaths.

But sometime around 2005, a new, more deadly device came to the battlefield –– the Explosively Formed Projectile, or EFP. The U.S. Army linked those weapons to the Iranian-backed militias. The Army’s Iraq War report found that Iranians had a very tight control over the distribution of EFPs and “the major Shi’a militant networks all owed their potency — and even existence — to the Iranian regime’s Quds Force and its powerful commander, Qassem Soleimani.”

The U.S. Central Command reported that between 2005 and 2011, explosively formed projectiles had killed 196 Americans and wounded 861. American officials have also estimated that more than 600 American troops were killed in 2019. Since 2006, approximately 2,187 U.S. troops have died as part of OCO operations in Iraq, with 48% of these military deaths attributable to IEDs (and their variants), according to a Federation of American Scientists report.

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