Former Israel Defense Forces (IDF) intelligence chief Major General Tamir Hayman has admitted the country’s role in the assassination of Iranian commander Qassem Soleimani, describing the killing as “significant and important.”
In an interview with the Israel Intelligence Heritage and Commemoration Center, Hayman, who stepped down in October, revealed Israel’s involvement in the US drone strike that took down the Iranian military official.
The killing of Soleimani, who served as Commander of the Quds Force in the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corp, was described as one of “two significant and important assassinations” by the Israeli officer. The other was Baha Abu al-Ata, an Islamic militant who was killed in a missile strike in Gaza.
“Soleimani’s assassination is an achievement, since our main enemy, in my eyes, are the Iranians,” Hayman said, highlighting the country’s work to disrupt its rival’s activities in the region.
Soleimani died in a drone strike on January 3, 2020 in Baghdad, Iraq after then-President Donald Trump ordered the targeted assassination. At the time, US media reported that Israeli intelligence had worked with American officials to locate the Iranian official.
The revelation by the former IDF intelligence chief comes days after comments from former President Trump about the assassination were reported. According to reports, in an interview for an upcoming book, Trump said then-Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu was “willing to fight Iran to the last American soldier.”
The ex-American leader expressed disappointment that Israel had not played a greater role in the assassination, only providing the intelligence. However, Trump’s comments seem to contradict Israeli officials interviewed for the book who reportedly claimed the US insisted it be the one to conduct the strike, rejecting military assistance from Tel Aviv.