The same day the U.S. conducted an airstrike in Baghdad that killed Iranian General Qassem Soleimani, an unsuccessful operation targeting an Iranian military official was reportedly carried out in Yemen. According to The Washington Post, a strike that targeted Abdul Reza Shahlai—a commander and financier of Iran’s Quds Force—in Yemen did not result in his death. Officials in the Pentagon and in Florida were reportedly monitoring both strikes and considering announcing the Soleimani and Shahlai strikes together if the Shahlai strike went according to plan. A source told the newspaper the Shahlai strike was not disclosed because it was not a success, and the commander may be targeted in the future. It’s reportedly unclear why the operation did not succeed.
Pentagon spokeswoman Cmdr. Rebecca Rebarich said officials have seen a report regarding a Jan. 2 strike in Yemen, and said the region had long been a “safe space for terrorists and other adversaries to the United States.” The State Department and the White House have not spoken publicly on the matter. This comes after the U.S. reportedly offered $15 million in December for information on Shahlai.