In a blistering criticism of the leader of the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Quds Force, the four-star US general in charge of US military of operations in the Middle East said Qasem Soleimani is behind much of Iran's destabilizing activities in the region.

Speaking to Pentagon reporters Wednesday, General Joseph Votel, the head of US Central Command, described Soleimani as "an individual who is perpetrating a lot of this destabilizing activity."
Votel called out the IRGC leader for "his very aggressive nature and wherever you see Iranian activity, you see Qasem Soleimani, whether it is in Syria, whether it is in Iraq, whether it is in Yemen, he is there and it is the Quds force, the organization which he leads, that I think is the principal threat as we look at this and the principle ones that are stoking this destabilizing activity."
Votel emphasized that the US military can keep the Strait of Hormuz open for shipping despite Iranian threats to potentially shut it down.

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