Op-Ed: US tried to assassinate another key Iranian general but failed

Posted Jan 12, 2020 by Ken Hanly
On January 2, the US launched an airstrike at the Baghdad International Airport that killed the Iranian General Qassem Suleimani and also an Iraqi militia leader but the US attempted another assassination the same day but failed.
US President Donald Trump will head to Davos with his daughter Ivanka  and her husband and top presi...
US President Donald Trump will head to Davos with his daughter Ivanka, and her husband and top presidential advisor Jared Kushner
The attempted assassination of General Abdul Reza Shahlai
A recent article reports what US officials said about the failed operation: "The officials said a military air attack targeted Abdul Reza Shahlai, a high-ranking commander in Iran's Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC), but the mission was not successful. The officials spoke to the Associated Press news agency on condition of anonymity in order to discuss a classified mission."
The reason given for the attack
The Treasury Dept. claims that Shahlai has a long history of targeting the US and its allies around the world. A recent article describes two of his attacks.The first was on US soil: "Shahlai was a ringleader in the last state-sponsored attempt to carry out a terrorist attack on US soil. In 2011, he and and a small number of fellow IRGC officers tried to assassinate Saudi Arabia’s then-ambassador to the United States, Adel Al-Jubeir, at a Washington restaurant. " The attack was foiled. and a cousin of Shahlai was arrested, charged, and is serving 25 years. Soleimani was involved in the plot as well. A second attack was in Iraq: "Shahlai was also involved in the kidnapping and murder of five American soldiers outside Karbala, Iraq, on January 20, 2007."
However, these past actions do not justify the attack as self defense. The US would need to show there was an immediate threat. However, the US has failed to give any specifics or even suggest so far that there Shahlai was planning any specific attacks.
Officials are declining to offer specifics, but the Treasury Department accused him of “a long history of targeting Americans and US allies globally.” Officials are also not talking about what specifically the justification for the attack was. On the other hand in the case of the Soleimani assassination there has been a claim that he was planning imminent attacks as discussed by Trump on the appended video. However, if such an attack were planned one would think that the embassies would have been put on high alert but that was not done. No doubt the administration would claim that no detailed information could be revealed as it needed to be kept secret and classified. On Fox News Trump said: "We will tell you probably it was going to be the embassy in Baghdad. I can reveal that I believe it would have been four embassies."
Shahlai was in Yemen so he would have had to be involved in some imminent attack there but this has not even been suggested as yet let alone any evidence presented for it. The US did not reveal the failed attempt for more than a week. This makes one wonder if the US had planned to take out a number of key Iranian leaders not just Soleimani and the commander of the an Iraqi militia. It also shows that the US appears to be willing to target someone simply on the basis of what they have done in the past even though they have no evidence of the person being an immediate threat.