U.S. reportedly tried and failed to kill another Iranian leader the same night as the Soleimani strike

Kathryn Krawczyk

The assassination of Iranian Gen. Qassem Soleimani may not have been the only attack the U.S. carried out last week.

On the night of Jan. 2, the U.S. sent a drone to attack the leader of Iran's Quds Forces in Baghdad, killing the powerful Iranian figure. But on that same night, U.S. forces also tried and failed to kill another Quds leader, The Washington Post first reported.

U.S. forces embarked on the top secret mission in Yemen to kill Abdul Reza Shahlai, a top commander of the Quds, U.S. officials tell the Post. While the officials declined to share details of the still-classified mission, they did say they failed to kill Shahlai. "If we had killed him, we'd be bragging about it that same night," a senior U.S. official said, as there were plans to announce his killing and Soleimani's together. A counter-terrorism official and a U.S. official told ABC News the same information.

Shahlai has been active in Yemen as he leads the Iranian military in support of the Houthi rebels fighting the Yemeni government. The U.S. backs the established government in Yemen, and like the Shahlai mission, "U.S. military operations in Yemen ... are shrouded in secrecy," the Post writes.

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