US Army Paratroopers Arrive in Middle East Ahead of Soleimani Killing

A large contingent of US Army paratroopers arrived in Kuwait on January 2, just hours before American forces killed Iranian commander Qassem Soleimani near Baghdad International Airport.

Footage shared by the US Department of Defense showed soldiers from the 82nd Airborne Division arriving at Ali Al Salem Air Base in Kuwait on January 2. The Pentagon had previously announced an immediate deployment of some 750 soldiers to the region.

Soleimani’s death was greeted with celebrations in Baghdad, and mourning and protests in Iran.

The Supreme National Security Council of the Islamic Republic of Iran issued a statement on the killing on January 3 that included the following: “The United States understands that the criminal attack on Sardar Suleiman is its biggest strategic blunder in the West Asian region, and the United States will not easily escape the consequences of this miscalculation … hard retaliation awaits the criminals who smeared their dirty hands with the pure blood of Sardar Suleimani. These criminals will face severe revenge on the blood of Sardar Suleimani’s critics at the right time and place. The Jihad and persistence line will undoubtedly continue to be doubly motivated, and the resistance tree will grow more prosperous every day.” Credit: US Department of Defense via Storyful