US Airstrike Failed to Kill Another Iranian General Last Week

US Killed Soleimani, but Missed IRGC Gen. Shahlai

On January 2, the US launched an airstrike at Baghdad International Airport, killing Iranian Gen. Qassem Suleimani, and multiple Iraqis. It turns out that was not the only US assassination bid that day.

US officials are now reporting that they also took a shot at Iranian Revolutionary Guard commander Gen. Abdul Reza Shahlai, who was in Yemen at the time. They failed to kill him.

Officials are declining to offer specifics, but the Treasury Department accused him of “a long history of targeting Americans and US allies globally.” Officials are also not talking about what specifically the justification for the attack was.

The Trump Administration has struggled to justify the killing of Soleimani, and has offered no public evidence of allegations of an “imminent” attack. Shahlai would need to be involved in a whole other plot in Yemen, starting a whole new call for evidence on that, too.

That the US kept the failed assassination under wraps for more than a week is raising questions on whether the US carried out any more attacks, or was planning to kill even more Iranian leaders at the time.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is Senior Editor for He has 20 years of experience in foreign policy research and his work has appeared in The American Conservative, Responsible Statecraft, Forbes, Toronto Star, Minneapolis Star-Tribune, Providence Journal, Washington Times, and the Detroit Free Press.