The New York Times said that General Soleimani believed that no one could harm him until American planes found him under President Trump, as he was traveling in a climate of impunity.
New York Times added that President Trump’s decision to kill General Soleimani was rejected by his predecessors, fearing that this would lead to war.
The newspaper listed an attempt to take Qassem Soleimani from about 10 years ago, saying: “On one night in January 2007, special operations commandos of the US operations tracked a notorious opponent as he was driving a convoy from Iran to northern Iraq,” Major General Qassem Soleimani, Iran’s top intelligence chief, but The Americans stopped the operation at the last minute, and General Soleimani fled in the dark.
But early Friday, a US MQ-9 Reaper drone aircraft fired missiles at a convoy of cars carrying General Soleimani as she was leaving Baghdad International Airport, and it remains unclear why President Trump chose this moment to strike the top military commander of Iran, after he Two presidents before him chose not to do so, fearing that killing the general would spark a wider war with Iran.
The newspaper adds that national security experts and even Pentagon officials agree on the seriousness of Soleimani, and that there is nothing new about Iranian behavior in recent months or even weeks.
Gen. Soleimani has been accused of encouraging Shiite militias to attack Americans for more than a decade, and American officials have blamed him, for more than a decade, for working with organizations in other countries, such as Hezbollah in Lebanon as well as the Houthis in Yemen, to attack American allies and interests.
The newspaper adds that tracking the location of General Soleimani for a long time was a priority for spy agencies, the US military and Israel, especially while he was in Iraq.
The officials said that General Soleimani often traveled without fear of punishment, as if he felt that it could not be violated, to the extent that a former senior American commander stopped his military plane alongside General Soleimani’s plane in Erbil Airport in northern Iraq.
Current and former US commanders and officials said Friday morning’s attack was specifically based on a bunch of information from undercover operatives, electronic spy operations, reconnaissance aircraft, and other surveillance tools.
The newspaper pointed out that a highly classified mission had been launched to locate and beat General Soleimani after the death of a US contractor last Friday, according to senior US officials, and the Army’s Special Operations Command spent the past days looking for an opportunity to kill him.
The newspaper added that President Trump’s decision to kill General Soleimani was rejected by Presidents George Bush and Barack Obama, fearing that this would lead to war, but Trump implemented it.