An Iranian military commander says there are ’35 vital American positions in the region’ which they can strike in response to top general’s assassination

  • A commander in the Iranian military said Friday that they already have 35 potential targets identified for a counter-strike against the US, after the assassination of top general Qassem Soleimani.
  • Among the targets within striking distance of Iran are American ships in the Strait of Hormuz, Sea of Oman, and the Persian Gulf.
  • Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.

A regional commander of the Iranian military warned Friday that they already have a list of dozens of potential targets to launch a counter-strike against the US for assassinating their top general, Qassem Soleimani.

Soleimani, who was in charge of a branch of the military which backs foreign militias, was killed in a US airstrike on Friday while leaving the Baghdad, Iraq, airport. The Trump Administration said Soleimani was planning imminent attacks against American interests in the region, and had been behind the December 27 rocket strike that killed a US contractor and several US servicemen at an Iraqi military base.

Iranian officials have vowed to avenge Soleimani’s death, including Brig. Gen. Gholamali Abuhamzeh, who commands the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) in Iran’s southern province of Kerman.

According to Tasnim News Agency, Abuhamzeh said at a Friday evening ceremony that Americans should be worried, with ships and allies in striking reach of Iran.

People gather at the funeral of the Iranian Major-General Qassem Soleimani, top commander of the elite Quds Force of the Revolutionary Guards, and the Iraqi militia commander Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis, who were killed in an air strike at Baghdad airport, in Baghdad, Iraq, January 4, 2020.

caption
People gather at the funeral of the Iranian Major-General Qassem Soleimani, top commander of the elite Quds Force of the Revolutionary Guards, and the Iraqi militia commander Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis, who were killed in an air strike at Baghdad airport, in Baghdad, Iraq, January 4, 2020.
source
REUTERS/Wissm al-Okili

“Thirty-five vital American positions in the region are within the reach of the Islamic Republic, and Tel Aviv – the US’ heart and life – is also within our reach,” Abuhamzeh said, adding that they’ve had a list of potential targets identified for some time.

He added: “The Strait of Hormuz is a vital (maritime) thoroughfare for the West, and a large number of American destroyers and warships cross the Strait of Hormuz, the Sea of Oman and the Persian Gulf.”

As of late last month, the US had an aircraft carrier, the USS Harry S. Truman, posted near Iran in the Arabian Sea, according to USNI News.

Military.com reported on Saturday that the amphibious assault ship USS Bataan has cancelled a planned training exercise in Africa and is being sent to the Middle East amid the rising tensions, with roughly 2,200 Marines aboard.

Additionally, the Pentagon confirmed that 3,000 soldiers from the 82nd Airborne Division at Fort Bragg, North Carolina were being sent to the region to bolster troops in the wake of Soleimani’s killing.