Shortly after the attack, several planes with U.S. service members took off from bases in the eastern United States. The following day, the U.S. Department of Defense announced the deployment of 3,500 members of the 82nd Airborne Division to the region, one of the largest rapid deployments in decades. Defense officials said the deployment was not directly related to the airstrike which killed Soleimani, but was instead a "precautionary action in response to increased threat levels against U.S. personnel and facilities".
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
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
According to The New York Times, Trump initially rejected the option to target Soleimani on 28 December 2019, but made the decision after being angered by television news reports of the U.S. embassy in Baghdad under attack by Iranian-backed protesters on 31 December. By late 2 January, Trump had finalized his decision of the most extreme option his advisors had provided him, which reportedly "stunned" top Pentagon officials. The Times report cited unnamed U.S. officials as saying the intelligence regarding Soleimani's alleged plot against the U.S. was "thin" and that the Ayatollah had not approved any operation for Soleimani to carry out. However, General Milley said the intelligence was "clear and unambiguous" with a time frame of "days, weeks". U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and Vice President Mike Pence were reportedly the most hawkish voices arguing to retaliate against Iran. Vice President Pence later wrote that Soleimani was plotting "imminent" attacks on U.S. persons. U.S. National Security Advisor Robert O'Brien insisted that Soleimani "was plotting to kill, to attack American facilities, and diplomats, soldiers, sailors, airmen and Marines were located at those facilities".More Info
On 25 August 2019, Israeli Foreign Minister Israel Katz said, "Israel is acting to strike the head of the Iranian snake and uproot its teeth ... Iran is the head of the snake and Qassem Soleimani, the commander of the Revolutionary Guards Quds Force, is the snake's teeth." In October 2019, Hossein Taeb, chief of the Intelligence Organization of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps, told the press that his agency had arrested an unspecified number of people, allegedly foiling a plot by Israeli and Arab agencies to assassinate Soleimani. He said they had planned to "buy a property adjacent to the grave of Soleimani's father and rig it with explosives to kill the commander". He added the way of the assassination would have appeared as part of an internal Iranian power struggle to "trigger a religious war inside Iran". Yossi Cohen, chief of the Israeli foreign intelligence agency (Mossad), said in response, "Soleimani knows that his assassination is not impossible."More Info
In 2014, the U.S. intervened in Iraq as a part of Operation Inherent Resolve (OIR), an American-led mission to fight the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) terror organization, and have been training and operating alongside Iraqi forces as a part of the anti-ISIL coalition. In 2017, ISIL forces in Iraq were largely defeated amidst a civil war, with the help of primarily Iran-backed Shia militias—the Popular Mobilization Forces, reporting to the Iraqi prime minister since 2016—and the U.S.-backed Iraqi Armed Forces.More Info
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