Iran Quds Force chief killed in rocket attack at Baghdad airport
Baghdad, Jan 03: The commander of Iran's Quds Force and a senior official in Iraq's paramilitary forces have been killed.
They were killed by shelling targeting their vehicles at the Baghdad International Airport. Those killed have been identified as Qasem Soleimani, commander of Iran's Revolutionary Guards Quds Force unit, and Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis, the deputy head of the Iran-backed Iraqi Popular Mobilization Forces (PMF).
Reports stated that the rockets hit the vehicles belonging to the PMF, which is a Shia paramilitary force comprising former militias. The PMF was formed in 2014 to fight against the ISIS.
On Friday three Iraqi military rockets were Fred at the airport.
US President Donald Trump took to Twitter and posted an image of the US flag. The tweet has been liked over 89,000 times. The Pentagon confirmed that the General Soleimani was killed at the direction of the president.
"At the direction of the President, the US military has taken decisive defensive action to protect US personnel abroad by killing Qasem Soleimani," a statement by the Pentagon read.
The strike was aimed at deterring further Iranian attack plans. The US will continue to take all necessary action to protect the people and its interests wherever they are in the world, the statement further said.
US defence secretary Mark Esper said that the US would not accept attacks against its personnel in the region. He blamed Iran for the violence at the embassy. Attacks against us will be met with responses in the time, manner, and place of our choosing. We urge the Iranian regime to end their malign activities," a statement read.