A Recap of the American-Iran Conflict



Kira Berzack, Digital Media Editor

It is extremely difficult for one to stay up to date with all the current events that occur. For each topic, one can find hundreds of articles that focus on the same aspects–yet no one has time to sift through each article to gain a strong understanding of the topic. Pertaining to all the news focused on the American-Iran conflict, this article should help navigate one and assist them in gaining a deep understanding for this topical event in our society. 

Donald J. Trump authorized the killing of Iranian General, Qassam Soleimani, who died on the third of January, 2020. Five current and former senior administration officials stated that Trump authorized the killing over seven months ago, in June. When bringing it to attention, it was discussed that if Iran’s increasing aggression resulted in a death of an American; action would be taken. 

Looking deeper into the beginning of this discussion, it is important to highlight the starting factor which was that Iran shot down a U.S. drone in June. During this time, John Bolton was Trump’s national security adviser. He and Mike Pence were both urging President Trump to retaliate against Iran. President Trump did not comply and instead said “that’s only on the table if they hit Americans.” This quote exemplifies how he initially did not want to start anything, but due to the death of a few Americans, he knew he had to defend his country and put America first. 

It is known that Soleimani, the leader of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps’ elite Quds Force, was planning threatening acts on Americans. In 2007, President George W. Bush’s administration officially identified Quds Force as a foreign terrorist organization. Four years later, Barack Obama’s administration publicly stated that they added new sanctions on Soleimani and three other senior Quds Force officials due to the knowledge they had about an alleged plan to assassinate the Saudi ambassador of the United States. A few years forward, in April of 2019, Bolton helped guide President Trump in the direction of labeling the entire Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps as a foreign terrorist organization, meaning the treatment to them would be the same as it is to Al Qaeda. In order to retaliate, Iran labeled the United States military a terrorist organization.

Since October, Iran has launched more than a dozen separate rocket attacks on bases that house Americans. Through each attack, the weapons used have become more and more advanced. The largest attack yet occurred on December 27. Kataib Hezbollah launched more than thirty rockets into an Iraqi base in Kirkuk which ended in the death of a U.S. contractor and trauma to four U.S. service members. This base is designated to host forces from parts of the U.S. led coalition against ISIS. December 27 was different than most days because it had more Americans than normal because they were preparing for a counter-ISIS operation. 

Following the attack, the United States aimed to hit ammunition, weapon supplies and command and control sites. Five airstrikes were launched against Kataib Hezbollah locations; three in Iraq and two in Syria. Next, Iran responded by attacking the U.S. Embassy Compound in Baghdad. And this is where President Donald Trump officially signed off on the operation to kill Soleimani. 

The United States were aware of Soleimanis route via Baghdad thanks to a tip from informants at the airport in Damascus. Israels intelligence also helped confirm the knowledge of Soleimanis whereabouts. When he landed, their were  three drones flying overhead. Each one possessed four Hellfire missiles. Vision was blurry, but two senior figures were shown getting into a sedan and departing. Shortly following, a minivan full of the entourage followed. Four missiles were fired, leaving no survivors.