MOSCOW, January 3. /TASS/. The Russian Defense Ministry has highlighted the contribution of Iranian Revolutionary Guards' Quds Force commander Qasem Soleimani, who was killed in a US strike at Baghdad airport, to combating the Islamic State (IS terrorist group, outlawed in Russia) in Syria.
"Under the direct leadership of Qasem Soleimani, armed resistance against international terrorist groups ISIL (Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant, former name of the IS - TASS) and Al-Qaeda (outlawed in Russia) was organized in Syria and Iraq long before the so-called international coalition led by the US. His personal contribution to the fight against ISIL on the territory of Syria is undisputed," the Russian Defense Ministry said in a statement published on Friday.
According to this statement, the killing of Soleimani will lead to an escalation of military-political tensions in the Middle East, negatively affecting the global security system.
"The short-sighted steps by the US, namely the killing of General Soleimani, will lead to a sharp escalation of military-political tensions in the Middle East region. It is fraught with serious negative consequences for the entire global security system," the statement stresses.
The ministry informed that the Iranian general had been killed on January 3 in the area of the Baghdad airport in a strike by the US Air Force. The statement adds that Soleimani was an experienced military commander who had significant authority and influence in the entire Middle East region.
The Pentagon earlier confirmed that a missile strike near the Baghdad airport killed the head of the Quds Force Qasem Soleimani. The operation was carried out at the direction of US President Donald Trump, the statement said.
According to the Pentagon, the strike was defensive, since it was aimed at protecting US troops in Iraq and other countries. Washington blamed Soleimani for allegedly approving a rally outside the US Embassy in Baghdad earlier this week. The US Congress was not informed about the upcoming missile strike, which killed the Iranian commander, said House Speaker Nancy Pelosi.