On 3 January 2020, at 12:32 a.m. local time, General Soleimani's Airbus A320 Cham Wings plane arrived at Baghdad International Airport from Damascus International Airport after being delayed for two hours for unknown reasons. An MQ-9 Reaper drone of the U.S. Air Force and other military aircraft loitered above the area as Soleimani and other pro-Iranian paramilitary figures, including Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis, a U.S.-designated terrorist, entered two vehicles and departed the airport towards downtown Baghdad. At 12:47 a.m., the Reaper drone launched several missiles, striking the convoy on an access road as it departed the airport, engulfing the two cars in flames and killing 10 people.
The strike occurred during the 2019–20 Persian Gulf crisis, which began after the U.S. withdrew from the 2015 nuclear deal with Iran in 2018, reimposed sanctions, and accused Iranian elements of fomenting a campaign to harass U.S. forces in the region. On 27 December 2019, the K-1 Air Base in Iraq, which hosts Iraqi and U.S. personnel, was attacked, killing an American contractor. The U.S. responded by launching airstrikes across Iraq and Syria, killing 25 Kata'ib Hezbollah militiamen. Days later, Shia militiamen and their supporters retaliated by attacking the U.S. embassy in the Green Zone.More Info
In contrast, according to The Washington Post on 4 January 2020, Trump wanted to kill Soleimani to avoid the appearance of weakness amid the ongoing Persian Gulf crisis, since his decision to call off an airstrike against Iran in summer 2019 after the downing of a U.S. drone had led to what he perceived as negative media coverage. Lawmakers and aides who had spoken to him told the Post that the president also had the 2012 Benghazi attack in Libya on his mind. Furthermore, Mike Pompeo had discussed killing Soleimani with Trump months before the strike, but did not garner support from the president or the defense team then in place. However, according to The Wall Street Journal on 10 January 2020, Trump purportedly told associates after the strike that he was motivated to strike Soleimani for domestic political gain, particularly to sway Republican Senators to support him in his upcoming Senate impeachment trial.More Info
On 27 December 2019, the K-1 Air Base in Kirkuk Province, Iraq—one of many Iraqi military bases that host Operation Inherent Resolve coalition personnel—was attacked by more than 30 rockets, killing an Iraqi-American U.S. defense contractor, and injuring multiple U.S. and Iraqi service members. The U.S. blamed the Iranian-backed Kata'ib Hezbollah militia for the attack. Furthermore, a senior U.S. official, who spoke to reporters on condition of anonymity, said there had been a campaign of 11 attacks on Iraqi bases hosting OIR personnel in the two months before the 27 December incident, many of which the U.S. also attributed to Kata'ib Hezbollah. On 29 December 2019, retaliatory U.S. airstrikes targeted five Kata'ib Hezbollah weapon storage facilities and command and control locations in Iraq and Syria. 25 militia members died and 55 were wounded.More Info
In 1881, Charles Fritts created the first commercial solar panel, which was reported by Fritts as "continuous, constant and of considerable force not only by exposure to sunlight but also to dim, diffused daylight." However, these solar panels were very inefficient, especially compared to coal-fired power plants. In 1939, Russell Ohl created the solar cell design that is used in many modern solar panels. He patented his design in 1941. In 1954, this design was first used by Bell Labs to create the first commercially viable silicon solar cell. In 1957, Mohamed M. Atalla developed the process of silicon surface passivation by thermal oxidation at Bell Labs. The surface passivation process has since been critical to solar cell efficiency.More Info
Average pricing information divides in three pricing categories: those buying small quantities (modules of all sizes in the kilowatt range annually), mid-range buyers (typically up to 10 MWp annually), and large quantity buyers (self-explanatory—and with access to the lowest prices). Over the long term there is clearly a systematic reduction in the price of cells and modules. For example, in 2012 it was estimated that the quantity cost per watt was about US$0.60, which was 250 times lower than the cost in 1970 of US$150. A 2015 study shows price/kWh dropping by 10% per year since 1980, and predicts that solar could contribute 20% of total electricity consumption by 2030, whereas the International Energy Agency predicts 16% by 2050.More Info
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