The Washington Post had eyes rolling on Twitter Thursday over a headline about the death of Iranian Quds Force commander Qasem Soleimani in a U.S. airstrike.
“Breaking news: Airstrike at Baghdad airport kills Iran’s most revered military leader, Qasem Soleimani, Iraqi state television reports,” the WaPo headline read.
While some brushed off the headline, believing it was in reference to how Iraqi state television reported the situation, just two paragraphs into the story the same language is used by the story’s writers.
"Defense Secretary Mark T. Esper said the Pentagon had taken 'decisive defensive action' against Soleimani, the revered military figure who had close links to a network of armed groups backed by Iran across the Middle East and, according to the United States, bore responsibility for hundreds of American deaths," WaPo said.
WTF WaPo...do you have any idea how much American blood is on his hands? https://t.co/ONMeOGEYnc— Amber Smith (@AmberSmithUSA) January 3, 2020
Really Washington Post?— Steve Guest (@SteveGuest) January 3, 2020
WaPo headline: "Airstrike at Baghdad airport kills Iran’s most revered military leader, Qassem Soleimani, Iraqi state television reports"
Soleimani was responsible for many of the bombs that killed US soldiers. pic.twitter.com/i5sbkdbtge
“Most revered” ?????— Elise Stefanik (@EliseStefanik) January 3, 2020
Soleimani is responsible for shedding blood of US soldiers and terrorizing the globe. @washingtonpost headline is an absolute embarrassment and needs to be immediately retracted. https://t.co/eBQf70uKIE
“Most revered military leader” now joins “austere religious scholar” and “mourners” trying to storm our embassy as word choices that make normal people wonder whose side the American mainstream media is on pic.twitter.com/JR83xMYCtO— Buck Sexton (@BuckSexton) January 3, 2020
Please accept my condolences.— Saeed Ghasseminejad (@SGhasseminejad) January 3, 2020
Your "most revered military leader" was a murderer with a track record of crimes against humanity and genocide. He was responsible for murder and torture of hundreds of thousands of innocent people. Tens of millions are joyful that he is dead. https://t.co/htHmo1NWZE
The language isn't surprising, as this is the same paper that described Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, the former leader of ISIS taken out by the U.S., as an "austere religious scholar."
“General Soleimani and his Quds Force were responsible for the deaths of hundreds of American and coalition service members and the wounding of thousands more,” according to the Pentagon. “He had orchestrated attacks on coalition bases in Iraq over the last several months – including the attack on December 27th – culminating in the death and wounding of additional American and Iraqi personnel. General Soleimani also approved the attacks on the U.S. Embassy in Baghdad that took place this week.”
Esper said the strike was meant as a deterrent because Soleimani was "actively developing plans to attack American diplomats and service members in Iraq and throughout the region."