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Ex Israeli intelligence chief reveals Israel's involvement in Soleimani's assassination

Ex Israeli intelligence chief reveals Israels involvement in Soleimanis assassination

Revolutionary Guards' Quds Force commander Qassem Soleimani who was assassinated on January 3, 2020.

In a first public acknowledgement, a former Israeli intelligence official has admitted to Israel's active role in the January 2020 airstrike that killed Iran's top commander Qasem Soleimani, AFP reported.

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.

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.

Qasem Soleimani who was the commander of the Quds Force, the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps's division in charge of extraterritorial military operations, was killed along with pro-Iran Iraqi military leaders during a US-led airstrike that targeted a car they drove towards the Baghdad International Airport in the early hours of January 3rd, 2020.

A week after the airstrike, NBC News had reported that Israeli intelligence helped confirm the details of Soleimani's flight from Damascus to Baghdad. Earlier this year, a Yahoo News reported that Israel "had access to Soleimani's numbers" and gave that intelligence to the United States.

But Maj. Gen. Tamir Heyman, the now-retired general who headed military intelligence until October, appears to be the first official to confirm Israel's involvement.

Mr. Heyman's comments were published in the November issue of a Hebrew-language magazine closely affiliated with Israel's intelligence services. The interview was held in late September, a couple weeks before his retirement from the military. The authors wrote that Mr. Heyman opened the interview by talking about the American airstrike that killed Soleimani, but in which Israeli intelligence played a part.

"Assassinating Soleimani was an an achievement, since our main enemy, in my eyes, are the Iranians," Mr. Heyman told the magazine.

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