GRISLY pictures show the possessions found on Iranian general Qasem Soleimani when he died including a poetry book, cash and a phone.
The military chief, dubbed a “terrorist mastermind” by US officials, was killed in an American drone strike in Iraq on January 3.
The US Special Forces photos, obtained by Fox News, show his possessions which included books of poetry and wads of cash.
He was also carrying a pistol and an assault rifle.
Normally, Soleimani’s phone and other electronics would be taken away for forensic analysis – but the missile strike and ensuing fire made such a probe impossible.
Some of the images, which have not been published, include graphic, close-up views of Soleimani’s body, which is disfigured and missing limbs.
Another photo shows his body burning next to the car in which he was riding.
The source told Fox News that US forces dragged Soleimani’s body away from the scene and extinguished the fire before formally identifying the Iranian general.
US soldiers on the ground in Iraq were following a convoy carrying the general when it was struck by a drone last week, Fox News reports.
The Special Operations forces following Soleimani’s convoy as it left Baghdad International Airport were about a half-mile behind when it was hit by a missile fired from a Reaper drone.
They were on the scene within two minutes and performed a so-called “bomb damage assessment,” taking pictures of the scene and identifying the correct target was hit
Meanwhile, this morning Iran has claimed it “unintentionally” shot down a Ukrainian passenger jet, killing 176 people but have blamed the “aggressive” US for the “catastrophic mistake.”
And now, after repeated denials, Iran’s President Hassan Rouhani has admitted his forces gunned down the civilian aircraft because they mistook it for an American fighter plane.
In a statement, he said: “In an atmosphere of threats and intimidation by the aggressive American regime against the Iranian nation following the martyrdom of general Qasem Soleimani and with the aim of defending against possible US Army attacks, the Islamic Republic of Iran’s Armed Forces were on full alert, when unfortunately a human error and miscalculated shooting caused a major catastrophe and dozens of innocent people fell victim to it.”
What we know so far:
- Ukraine International Airlines Flight 752 crashed at 6.14 am on Tuesday just after leaving Tehran bound for Kiev
- It came down three hours after Iran launched missiles at US bases in Iraq in response to the killing of General Soleimani
- Pictures of the wreckage showed telltale shrapnel marks indicating an explosion
- Iran initially blamed an engine malfunction and refused to hand over black box flight recorders
- Justin Trudeau and Boris Johnson said intelligence points to an Iranian surface-to-air missile
- This morning, Iran finally took responsibility for shooting the jetliner, blaming ‘human error’
The Iranian leader also offered his “deep condolences” to the families of the victims and said the country’s Foreign Ministry would work to identify and bring bodies back to their countries.
Ali Khamenei, the country’s supreme leader, has also offered condolences over the plane disaster and called for an investigation.
Earlier military officials reportedly told Iranian state TV they “unintentionally” shot down Ukrainian jetliner they mistook the jet as a hostile target after it turned toward a sensitive center of the Revolutionary Guard.
“The military was at its highest level of readiness,” said their statement, referencing the heightened tensions with the United States.
“In such a condition, because of human error and in a unintentional way, the flight was hit,” it read.