Israeli Intelligence helped US in killing general Soleimani. NBC News | All Round View

Israeli Intelligence helped US in killing general Soleimani. NBC News

General Qassem Soleimani (All Round View File Photo)

All Round View (Islamabad): NBC News reported Sunday that it was Israeli Intelligence that helped the Americans in the assassination of Iranian General Qasem Soleimani last week.

General Soleimani, who headed the Quds Force that is considered as the elite black-ops arm of Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps, was killed in a US drone strike outside a Baghdad airport on Jan. 3. The strike further strained US-Iran ties, sparking a flurry of threats from both administrations and Iranian retaliatory actions on Iraqi soil.

General Soleimani, who was widely considered the second only to the Supreme Leader of Iran, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, had immense power and influence in his position. He was a key figure in spreading and maintaining Iran’s aspirations of regional hegemony.

The report said informants at the Damascus international airport tipped off the CIA about the time Soleimani’s plane took off for Baghdad and it was Israel that confirmed the information provided to the Americans.

According to the New York Times, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo briefed Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu ahead of the operation. This makes Netanyahu the only leader in the region that was informed about the American mission, it said.

NBC quoted two sources who were “directly familiar” with the details of Soleimani’s assassination as saying that as the Cham Wings Airbus A320 carrying Soleimani landed in Baghdad, CIA agents on the ground confirmed the exact location of the plane and then US drones armed with four Hellfire missiles moved into position in the Iraqi airspace, fully controlled by American forces.