News ID: 316829
Published: 0211 GMT October 03, 2021

Secretive UK base linked to US assassination of Iran’s Gen. Soleimani

Secretive UK base linked to US assassination of Iran’s Gen. Soleimani

A new report linked a UK Royal Air Force base with high-profile US drone strikes, including the assassination of Iran’s anti-terrorism commander Lieutenant General Qassem Soleimani in January last year.

The report's release has put pressure on British ministers to explain whether the Menwith Hill base in Yorkshire has been directly involved in the carrying out of US drone strikes.

It said it is “probable” that General Soleimani, who was the chief commander of Iran’s Quds Force, was targeted using data sourced from the secretive site, which “acted as a foreign outpost of the US National Security Agency”.

According to the Guardian, the report was presented at a special meeting of the Menwith Hill Accountability Campaign, and requests that “any US military activity or US security agency activity carried out at Menwith Hill be carried out in such a way as to make those responsible fully accountable to the UK”.

Investigative journalist Barnaby Pace said in the report that both US and UK personnel stationed at the site operated “beyond public scrutiny and accountability”.

“The involvement of the UK and Menwith Hill in an assassination that threatened to spark a war should be of great concern,” Pace wrote in the report in reference to General Soleimani’s assassination. “The UK government’s failure to assure the public that the base was not involved raises deep questions about the accountability for actions at the base.”

Although Menwith Hill is formally classified as an RAF base, it also operates as the largest overseas site of the NSA and has 600 US personnel.

Documents compiled by high-profile whistleblower Edward Snowden implicated the base in the NSA’s global eavesdropping network, which has the capacity to intercept and pinpoint phone and internet traffic in countries around the world.

Pace said in the report that key information captured by the network was subsequently used in the execution of drone strikes.

“Intelligence programmes at Menwith Hill have reportedly played a key role in operations to ‘eliminate’ people in Yemen, as part of a deadly drone bombing campaign that has resulted in dozens of civilian deaths in a country that neither the UK nor US has declared war with,” he said.

A UK Ministry of Defence spokesman said: “RAF Menwith Hill is part of a worldwide US defense communications network, with the base supporting a variety of communications activity.”

Late last year, a senior Iranian Judiciary official said British security services firm GS4 had been linked to General Soleimani’s assassination.

Agents of the company handed the information of General Soleimani and his entourage to the US as soon as they entered the Baghdad International Airport, outside of which he was murdered by the US drone strike, Tehran Prosecutor Ali Alqasimehr told Mizan on December 31, 2020, Press TV wrote.

Also on Saturday, head of Israel’s military intelligence Major General Tamir Hayman said the assassination of General Soleimani was “one of the most significant and important events in my time,” adding that it made a significant contribution to the Zionist regime’s security.

In an interview with Walla news website, he said the Iranian general was the man who designed, approved and acted against Israel.

General Soleimnai, Hayman said, had a strategic vision and operational capacity where he could get things done in Syria in a short period of time.

“He was also the designer of Syria — that’s the bigger story. There are not many people like him,” he said.



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