In retaliation to the US assassination of top anti-terror commanders, General Qassem Soleimani and Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis, the resistance axis has killed two American and Israeli commanders, according to a report.
Axis of Resistance Killed US, Israeli Commanders in Revenge for Soleimani's Assassination – Report https://t.co/5ikBKoDYuR
— Tom Dionne-Carroll (@TomDionneCarro2) September 22, 2021
Press TV: The Cradle, which describes itself as a journalist-driven publication covering West Asia, has learned through a senior security source that the resistance axis has killed two high-ranking American and Israeli commanders in a military operation in Erbil in northern Iraq.
🚨🚨 A security official in the resistance axis announces the assassination of two American and Israeli military leaders, James Willis and Sharon Asman, for their development in the assassination of the martyrs Soleimani and Al-Muhandis pic.twitter.com/jQaW7764ve
— 24/7 News (Middle East Observer) 🇸🇩 (@Boomdotnews) September 21, 2021
The operation was carried out to avenge the killings of the commander of the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC) Quds Force Gen. Soleimani and deputy commander of Iraq’s Hashd al-Shaabi Mahdi al-Muhandis, the report said on Monday.
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.
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.
Iran has issued a red notice request to Interpol for the apprehension of the US president and 47 others in connection with the assassination of top Iranian anti-terror commander Lieutenant General Qassem Soleimani in the Iraqi capital Baghdad last year.
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 Soleimani and 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.
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.
Iran’s foreign minister has described putting an end to the presence of US military forces in the region as the best response to the assassination of top Iranian anti-terror commander Lt. Gen. Soleimani.
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.
Gen. Qassem Soleimani and Mahdi al-Muhandis, the two iconic figures in the fight against the Daesh 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.
Last week, Iran’s Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian pledged to legally pursue the case and bring the perpetrators to justice.
“Continuing to pursue this case and bringing the state terrorists to justice is one of the definitive policies of the Iranian Foreign Ministry,” he said last Tuesday, during a meeting of the special committee on the legal and international pursuit of General Soleimani’s assassination.
“The Foreign Ministry is committed to its intrinsic duty to pursue this issue legally, politically and internationally,” he stressed, while emphasizing the need to keep alive the memory of Gen. Soleimani.
On Monday, Iran’s Defense Minister Brig. Gen. Mohammad-Reza Gharaei Ashtiani also vowed a “crushing response” to any “imprudent move” by the enemy.
The newly-appointed minister said Iran has repeatedly stressed that its defensive power and progress in new technologies and domestic innovations are meant to ensure national security and respond to any external aggression.
“The enemies of the Iranian nation will definitely receive a crushing response for any imprudent and reckless action and will incur heavy costs,” Brig. Gen. Ashtiani asserted, referring to the Israeli regime.
EXCLUSIVE: Resistance Axis killed two US and Israeli operatives involved in Soleimani/Muhandes assassinations
A senior Resistance Axis security official says US Lt. Col. James C. Willis and Israeli Col. Lt. Col. James C. Willis were killed in Erbil for their involvement in the assassinations of Soleimani and Muhandes.
According to The Cradle’s security source:
“An operation in Erbil killed two high-ranking American and Israeli commanders: Lt. Col. James C. Willis, 55, of Albuquerque and of the Red Horse Unit, is an American commander who was killed in an operation in Erbil, although according to a Pentagon report he died in a non-combat incident at Qatar’s Al-Udeid base. This person was involved in the assassination operations of Soleimani and Abu Mahdi. Also (Israeli) Col. Sharon Asman of the Nahal Brigade, said to have died of heart failure, was another person killed in Erbil.”
This is the first time a Resistance Axis official has claimed responsibility for retaliatory measures against the killers of the Iranian and Iraqi generals.
On June 27, a day after his death, the US Defense Department released a brief statement saying Lt. Col. Willis died in a non-combatant incident at Udeid base, without providing any further details other than “the incident is under investigation.”
The military newspaper Stars and Stripes describes Willis 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” – a description inconsistent with Qatar’s environs.
Israel Defense Forces (IDF) Colonel Sharon Asman, who, according to Israeli media, had only days before he assumed command of the Nahal Infantry Brigade, is alleged to have died on 1 July after collapsing during a training run. Asman was a combatant who fought in both Gaza and Lebanon. The IDF said the incident was under investigation.
The Cradle’s security source says both Willis and Asman were killed in Erbil, Iraq, during an operation against those involved in the assassinations of Soleimani and Muhandis.
There have been at least two separate reported attacks this year on Mossad targets in Iraq by unknown parties.
The first incident, in mid-April, followed Israel’s sabotage attack on Iran’s Natanz nuclear facility, several strikes against each other’s maritime vessels in regional waters, and the Israeli assassination of Iranian nuclear scientist Mohsen Fakhrizadeh last November. The pro-US Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) denied reports of the incident.
Willis’ squadron arrived in the region in spring. The Resistance Axis source did not elaborate on the timing of the attacks that killed Willis and Asman.
The security official also spoke of Iran’s new assertive stance in response to ongoing Israeli attacks. “Iran has changed the equation of dealing with the (Israeli) regime.”
“From now on,” the official explained, in reference to a raft of Israeli attacks on Iranian vessels, “a ship will be attacked after any action of the (Israeli) regime against the interests of Iran.”
A lesson in military ‘proportionality’ ensued: “The (Israeli) regime has claimed to have hit 12 Iranian ships so far, while Iran has not hit more than five. So far, seven other Iranians ships are in need of work. If any other attack on Iranian positions is carried out, Iran will respond by targeting the (Israeli) regime’s ships.”
“The (Israeli) regime conducts more than 80 percent of its trade by sea, which is forced to pass through areas under Iran’s control – which means being exposed to Iran’s fire,” warned the official.
Early last month, the US, UK and Israel threatened retaliation against Tehran, alleging that Iran had conducted drone strikes on an oil tanker, Mercer Street, off the coast of Oman. Iran vigorously denied any role in the attack.
According to the Associated Press, the troika “have yet to show physical evidence from the strike or show intelligence information on why they blame Tehran.”
These bold rules of engagement being drawn by the Axis of Resistance can reach well beyond the region’s borders.
It’s a new dynamic: the notion that middle states and their militia alliances are prepared to confront the most heavily militarized states in the world, and inflict a 1:1 ratio of damage – “in retaliation,” and therefore legal under the rules of war and international law.
The Axis’ new ‘eye for an eye’ doctrine has the potential to deter and limit the maneuverability of the US and its allies in West Asia.
On Saturday, a New York Times (NYT) investigation breathlessly described how Iranian scientist Mohsen Fakhrizadeh was assassinated by the Mossad, using a remote-controlled Artificial Intelligence machine gun operated from Israel.
Iran’s Foreign Ministry spokesman Saeed Khatibzadeh denied the NYT’s version of events on Sunday, saying that Iranian intelligence had all the details of the incident, including information on the operatives involved.
*The Resistance Axis is an alliance of states and organizations in West Asia that fundamentally opposes Western imperialism, zionism, and foreign intervention, and demands the total withdrawal of all Western military forces and bases in the region. The Axis consists of Iran, Syria, Hezbollah, Hamas, Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ), Yemen’s Ansarallah, a number of Iraqi political and military groups, and a smattering of smaller organizations.
Axis of Resistance Killed US, Israeli Commanders in Revenge for Soleimani’s Assassination – Report
“From now on,” the source said, speaking about the Israeli-Iranian conflict in the sea, “a ship will be attacked after any action of the [Israeli] regime against the interests of Iran.”
“Today, the resistance fronts consisting of Iran, Syria, Iraq, Lebanon, Yemen,… against the United States and the Zionist regime are not only undefeated and passive but they are considered the victors of the battlefields,” he said, according to a Farsi News report.