Eight people were killed by rocket bombs at the airport in Baghdad, the capital of Iraq. According to the military, “Baghdad International Airport was hit by 3 rockets., 8 were killed.
The United States has killed Qassim Soleimani, leader of Iran’s elite Quds Force, in an airstrike in Baghdad, the Pentagon has confirmed. The move is a potential turning point in the Middle East.
Iranian General Qassim Soleimani, the head of Iran’s elite Quds Force, was killed in a US airstrike in Baghdad, the Pentagon confirmed on Friday. The Iranian state TV network also confirmed Soleimani’s death, citing a Revolutionary Guard statement.
The US called Soleimani’s killing a “defensive action.”
“This strike was aimed at deterring future Iranian attack plans,” the Pentagon said in a statement.
The strike also reportedly killed Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis, the deputy commander of Iraqi paramilitary group Hashd Shaabi.
“The deputy head of the Hashd, Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis, and head of the Quds Force, Qassim Soleimani, were killed in a US strike that targeted their car on the Baghdad International Airport road,” Hashed Shaabi, also known as the Popular Moblization Forces (PMF), said in a statement early Friday.
The PMF earlier said five of its members and two “guests” were killed in an airstrike on their vehicles on the grounds of Baghdad International Airport on Friday. Iraq’s military-run Security Media Cell issued a statement that three Katyusha rockets had hit the airport.
The PMF also said that among those killed was Mohammed Reda al-Jaberi, who was the militia’s protocol officer and head of public relations.
U.S. officials told Reuters news agency that strikes were carried out against two targets linked to Iran in Baghdad on Thursday. The officials, speaking on the condition of anonymity, declined to give any further details.
As the head of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps’ elite Quds force, Soleimani was one of Iran’s most powerful men who was responsible for regional military policy in Iraq, Lebanon, Syria and Yemen. Al-Muhandis was the head of Kaitab Hezbollah, a Shiite militia group that is part of the Iraq state-sanctioned PMF.
DW’s Chase Winter says that the reported killings of Soleimani and Mohandis is a major escalation that is likely to cause a war not isolated to Iraq, and that Iran will be forced to respond directly or indirectly.
US President Trump has vehemently denounced Iran for holding the embassy looted. In this context, the attack on Iran’s airport has caused a stir.