Iran says Israel used remote-controlled machine gun to kill top nuclear scientist

Iran says scientist killed by remote-controlled gun
Iran says scientist killed by remote-controll... 02:02

Erbil, Iraq — The alleged mastermind of Iran's nuclear weapons program, Mohsen Fakhrizadeh, was buried with full military honors on Monday. He was ambushed with a remote-controlled machine gun mounted on a car that later blew up, according to Iranian media reports. Iranian President Hassan Rouhani blamed Israel for the killing on Saturday and vowed retribution "in due time."

It's just one of the problems that President-elect Joe Biden will inherit in this unstable part of the world. This month, the Pentagon announced that U.S. troops in Iraq would be cut by 500 just before Mr. Biden takes office. It's a move critics say could give a boost to militia groups backed by Iran that have fired scores of rockets at U.S. targets this year alone.

At a command center for airstrikes in Baghdad — a place the U.S. military calls the "shark tank" — General Ryan Rideout told CBS News that constant surveillance is also needed to stop the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) from regrouping.  

"If you stop patrolling, stop going out, you potentially could have it come back," said Rideout.

Body of slain top Iranian nuclear scientist to be buried
Members of Iranian forces carry the coffin of Iranian nuclear scientist Mohsen Fakhrizadeh during a funeral ceremony in Tehran, Iran, on November 30, 2020. WANA NEWS AGENCY via REUTERS

It's thought that thousands of the extremists are still at large. In neighboring Syria, CBS News went on patrol with the 82nd Airborne Division. They're working to stop ISIS regaining control of lucrative oil facilities.

"If we're not able to move around, that means ISIS can; that means ISIS is getting in with the population and they're influencing them," said Lieutenant Colonel Val Moro.

But, after President Trump opened the door to an incursion by Turkey into Syria last year, some locals said off camera they're now finding it harder to trust the U.S.