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Reports: U.S. Tried, But Failed, To Take Out Iranian Commander In Yemen

A picture of Abdul Reza Shahlai from a handout provided by the U.S. State Department.

The United States carried out a secret operation in Yemen that targeted, but failed to kill, a senior Iranian military commander last week, unidentified U.S. officials say.

The Washington Post, Reuters, and AP quoted the officials as saying on January 10 that an air strike targeted Abdul Reza Shahlai, a senior officer in the elite Quds Force of Iran's Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC).

They said the failed strike was carried out on January 3 -- the same day the leader of the Quds Force -- Major General Qasem Soleimani -- was killed in a U.S. drone strike in Baghdad.

The killing has raised fears of a conflict between the United States and Iran.

The Pentagon declined to discuss the classified operation in Yemen, where a a military coalition led by Saudi Arabia, a U.S. ally, has been fighting Iran-backed Shi’ite Huthi rebels since 2015.

The Quds Force was designated a terrorist organization by the United States.

Based on reporting by The Washington Post, AP, and Reuters