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The Israel Defence Forces played no part in the killing of Iran’s Qassem Soleimani, IDF’s international spokesperson Jonathan Conricus tells FRANCE 24’s Middle East Matters programme, describing the senior commander’s death as an “opportunity” for the region.
“The IDF had no role, this was an American-executed operation,” Cornicus told FRANCE 24’s Sanam Shantyaei on Tuesday, denying reports that Israeli intelligence helped locate the target of the US strike on Soleimani.
Widely regarded as the most powerful Iranian military commander, the head of the elite Quds Force was killed in a US drone strike at Baghdad airport on January 3.
His killing was “a good thing,” Cornicus said, describing the Iranian general as “one of the most notorious and murderous terrorists that we have faced”.
The IDF spokesperson denied claims that Soleimani’s death threatened to bring further instability to the region, days after Iran launched retaliatory missile strikes on US targets in Iraq and mistakenly shot down a Ukrainian passenger jet, killing all 176 people on board.
“For the immediate term the region, the Middle East, has the potential to be more stable, more safe,” Cornicus said, arguing that the US strike on Soleimani had removed a key fomenter of regional instability.
Click on the player above to watch the full interview.