US long watched Soleimani, but feared risks of a strike

ZEKE MILLER and JULIE PACE Associated Press WASHINGTON (AP) — In 2007, U.S. commandos watched as a convoy carrying a powerful Iranian military leader made its way to northern Iraq. It was a prime opportunity to take out Gen. Qassem Soleimani, who had been accused of aiding Shiite forces that killed thousands of American troops in Iraq. But ultimately, military leaders passed on a strike, deferring to deep concerns about the potential fallout of such a provocative attack. "To avoid a firefight, and the contentious politics that would follow, I decided that we should monitor the caravan, not strike immediately," retired Gen. Stanley McChrystal wrote last year in Foreign Policy. Fears about the repercussions and reverberations of a targeted killing of Soleimani persisted throughout th
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