U.S. Military Unsuccessfully Targeted Second Iranian Official


WASHINGTON — The American military unsuccessfully tried to kill a senior Iranian in Yemen on the same day a drone strike took out Maj. Gen. Qassim Suleimani, one of Iran’s most important commanders, according to American officials.

The disclosure of a second mission indicated that the Trump administration was attempting to target a larger set of Iranian military and paramilitary leaders than was previously known.

The unsuccessful airstrike in Yemen was aimed at Abdul Reza Shahlai, an official with Iran’s Quds Force, a potent paramilitary organization. He was known as a key financier for Iran’s proxy wars.

President Trump approved the strike against Mr. Shahlai at the same time as he authorized the strike against General Suleimani, although it is unclear if the American attack in Yemen occurred at precisely the same time.

The Pentagon declined to confirm the strike. But Cmdr. Rebecca Rebarich, a Pentagon spokeswoman, noted that Yemen “is long understood as a safe space for terrorists and other adversaries to the United States.”

The United States had offered a $15 million reward for information about Mr. Shahlai. The announcement of the reward accused him of having a long history of involvement in attacks on American allies, including a failed 2011 plot to kill the Saudi ambassador to the United States.

Mr. Shahlai was based in Yemen, where Iran is supporting the Houthi rebels, who are fighting forces backed by Saudi Arabia.



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