FNA – The resistance front has killed a US and an Israeli top commander in a drone attack on a Mossad station in Northern Iraq in retaliation for the assassination of Commander of the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC) Quds Force Lieutenant General Qassem Soleimani, media sources reported.
Senior security sources said that the resistance front has killed two high-ranking American and Israeli commanders in a military operation in Erbil in Northern Iraq, the Cradle, a journalist-driven publication covering West Asia, reported on Monday.
The operation was carried out to avenge the killings of General Soleimani and deputy commander of Iraq’s Hashd al-Shaabi Mahdi al-Muhandis, it added. The Cradle source did not elaborate on the timing of the attacks that killed Willis and Asman.
“Iran has changed the equation of dealing with the (Israeli) regime,” the source was quoted as saying, referring to Iran’s new assertive stance toward the Israeli regime.
Pertinently, this is the first time a resistance axis official has claimed responsibility for retaliatory measures against the killers of the top Iranian and Iraqi commanders, the Cradle said in the report.
Quoting a “senior resistance axis security official,” the report identified the slain men as Lt. Col. James C. Willis, 55, of Albuquerque and of the Red Horse Unit, an American commander, and Col. Sharon Asman, 42, of the Nahal Brigade, an Israeli commander.
Iran Affairs Analyst, University Teacher and Journalist Seyed Mostafa Khoshcheshm had reported in a tweet post on June 29 that three Mossad officers had been killed in a drone attack on a Mossad station in Erbil, Northern Iraq.
An #Israeli Mossad’s radio communication outpost in Erbil, Northern Iraq, came under rocket attack by 3 unidentified drones on Friday, June 24.
3 #mossad officers were killed & several more wounded.
Seems that drone attacks are in fashion now.
Tick tock, tick tock, tick tock pic.twitter.com/4V7j5gqckA— S.M.Khoshcheshm (@khoshcheshm) June 29, 2021
Few days later on July 3, Khoshcheshm reported the death of Col. Sharon Asman, saying that he was the fourth death in the list of Israeli and US army men involved in the assassination of General Soleimani and Abu Mahdi Al-Muhandis.
Israeli Commander Col. Sharon Asman unexpectedly died after collapsing during a fitness training session under questionable circumstances.
This is the 4th unexplained death in a list of 26 US/Israeli officers involved in assassination of Martyr Lieu. Gen. Qassem Soleimani. pic.twitter.com/av2HbZhrka— S.M.Khoshcheshm (@khoshcheshm) July 3, 2021
Both the US and the Israeli regime had claimed that the commanders were killed in separate accidents days apart.
The Pentagon had on June 27 claimed that Willis died in a non-combat incident at Qatar’s Al-Udeid base, without providing further details.
The Stars and Stripes, an American military newspaper, described him as “commander of the 210th Red Horse Squadron”, a 130-member unit that “provides civil engineering with rapid response capabilities to conduct operations in remote, high threat environments”.
According to Israeli media, Asman died on July 1 “after collapsing during fitness training at a military base in central Israel”. He had fought in Lebanon and Gaza among other places in his career spanning 25 years.
However, dismissing media reports aimed at obfuscating the truth, The Cradle quoted the security source as saying that both Willis and Asman were killed in Erbil during an operation against those involved in the assassinations of General Soleimani and al-Muhandis. There have been at least two separate attacks this year on the Israeli spy agency Mossad targets in Iraq.
The first incident came in mid-April, after Israel’s sabotage attack on Iran’s Natanz nuclear facility, strikes on maritime vessels belonging to the two sides in regional waters, and the assassination of Iran’s top nuclear scientist Mohsen Fakhrizadeh last November.
Gen. Qassem Soleimani and Mahdi al-Muhandis, the two iconic figures in the fight against the ISIL terrorist group, were killed in a US airstrike outside the Baghdad International Airport on January 3, 2020.
Days after the brazen act, the IRGC launched a volley of missiles at a major military base housing American forces in Iraq.
Iranian officials have on several occasions vowed to avenge the death of the two top commanders, as well as the killing of its top nuclear scientist Mohsen Fakhrizadeh.
Iran has denounced the assassinations as “state terrorism” and vowed to end the American presence in the region as the ultimate act of revenge, while urging neighboring Iraq to expel the US forces from the country.
Drone and rocket attacks have recently increased against the US and Israeli interests in the region, specially Iraq and Syria.
Late in June, an Israeli spying station in Iraq’s Northern Kurdistan region came under attack by unidentified drones, sources said, adding that 3 Mossad officers have been killed and several others wounded in the air raid.
The Arabic-language Qatarajel news website reported that a radio monitoring and operations post of the Mossad in Erbil, Northern Iraq, came under rocket attack, adding that the Israeli secret service has sustained several casualties in the raid.
Meantime, other sources confirmed that 3 Israeli officers have been killed and several more have been wounded in the attack, adding that the target has been a Mossad radio communitions outpost which has come under rocket attack by three unidentified drones. No group claimed responsibility for the attack yet.
In a similar development in mid April, another Mossad recruitment and training base came under attack in Northern Iraq. A senior intelligence officer was killed and several others wounded in the raid.
A Mossad center came under attack by “unknown resistance forces” in the North of the country, Iraq’s Sabereen News, citing security sources, reported on April 13, adding that the attack resulted in the death and injury of a number of Israeli forces, including a senior officer, dealing a “heavy blow” to the regime and its spy agency.
Sabereen News later released photos of the attack site. The mid-April incident came hours after an Israeli ship was attacked in the Emirati port of Fujairah, causing damage but no casualties.