According to U.S. officials, on the same day the U.S. military killed Maj. Gen. Qasem Soleimani, another mission was carried out against a senior Iranian military official in Yemen. The top secret mission was a strike targeting Abdul Reza Shahlai, a key commander of Iran’s elite Quds Force who have been active in Yemen. The operation was unsuccessful and did not result in Shahlai’s death. According to Pentagon officials, if the strike went well, then both the Soleimani and Shahlai strikes would have been announced together. This indicates the possibility that the Soleimani strike was part of a broader operation. It is possible that Shahlai could be targeted in the future; however, both countries have “signaled an interest” in de-escalation.
The Crossroads of Special Operations