An Iranian military commander on Friday threatened the US over the killing of Iran’s top general over three years ago, vowing to drive American forces out of the Middle East.
Iran has repeatedly vowed vengeance since a US airstrike killed General Qassem Soleimani in Iraq in January 2020.
“Although the Americans martyred Haj Qassem Soleimani, they received the first blow and now are receiving the second blow, which is nothing but their gradual withdrawal from the region,” Iranian general Hossein Salami, the commander of the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps, said on Friday.
“The final blow has yet to come to them,” Salami said, according to Iran’s semi-official Fars news agency.
Soleimani, the architect of Iran’s regional military activities, was killed in a US drone strike in neighboring Iraq. He is hailed as a national icon among supporters of Iran’s theocracy.
Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi in January also issued threats against the US during a ceremony marking three years since Soleimani’s death.
“There will be no relief for murderers and accomplices,” Raisi said.
Iran responded to the killing of Soleimani by launching a barrage of missiles at US bases in Iraq, causing dozens of brain concussion injuries but no deaths among US soldiers stationed there.
Iranian officials have repeatedly vowed to take further steps and imposed sanctions on individuals accused of taking part in the operation.
According to US officials, Iran has launched at least 80 attacks against US forces and locations in Iraq and Syria since January 2021. The vast majority of those have been in Syria.
In March, a suspected Iranian-linked drone attack killed a US contractor and wounded seven other Americans in northeast Syria. The US retaliated with airstrikes.
Soleimani, who led the elite Quds Force of Iran’s Revolutionary Guard, was credited with helping to arm, train, and lead armed groups across the region, including the Shiite militias in Iraq, fighters in Syria and Yemen, the Lebanese Hezbollah terror group, and terror groups in the West Bank and Gaza.
The US held him responsible for the deaths of many of its soldiers in Iraq.
Agencies contributed to this report.