Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps General Qassem Soleimani, a top security and intelligence officer for the rogue state of Iran, was killed by a drone strike early Friday morning at Baghdad International Airport.
Thanks to test footage of the MQ-9 Reaper, the same type of drone that sent the Iranian terrorist to his fiery grave, we now know what those chaotic few seconds in Iraq probably looked like for the now-deceased leader of the IRGC’s elite Quds Force.
Although details of the strike are still under wraps, there’s one thing that’s clear judging by the wreckage left in the aftermath: Soleimani’s last few seconds on this planet were bright, loud and hot.
We know this because what’s left of Soleimani’s convoy after an encounter with a Reaper are a few scraps of charred metal, with only a bent bumper to hint that one of the vehicles might have been a Toyota at some point in time.
— CNN (@CNN) January 3, 2020
Before we get to the test footage, here are some important things to remember about the MQ-9.
As an unmanned drone, the machine is capable of operating in combat zones and other dangerous areas without putting any U.S. personnel at risk. The entire system is remotely controlled — often by operators from within America’s borders.
According to an Air Force spec sheet, the drone’s primary function is to “find, fix, and finish targets.”
It seems “Reaper” is an appropriate name after all.
It’s still unclear exactly what munitions were used to “finish” Soleimani, but there’s no doubt that the chosen payload was highly explosive.
Footage from U.S. Naval Air Weapons Station in China Lake, California, shows Brimstone missiles being launched against static and moving targets from a circling Reaper drone.
Although not every missile used in the test had an active warhead, the ones that did put on quite the fireworks display. The missiles’ pinpoint hits on moving targets underscore how useful these advanced weapons systems are to U.S. forces.
Watch the test, conducted back in 2013, below:
With how quickly these munitions move, there’s not much of a chance terrorists like Soleimani have a clue what’s about to happen before finding themselves at the business end of an air-to-ground missile.
The Air Force said in 2015 that it had 93 Reaper drones in inventory — more than enough to put the fear of God into bad guys across the globe.
If there’s one thing Friday’s strike proves, it’s that under the leadership of President Donald Trump, America’s armament will be used to its full deadly potential against our enemies when the situation calls for it.
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