The United States killed an Iranian general in the night of Thursday to Friday in an air raid on an airport in the Iraqi capital Baghdad. That reports both the US Department of Defense and the Iraqi state television.
General Qassem Soleimani led the Quds Corps, a special unit of the Iranian armed forces IRG. The IRG was designated by the US in April 2019 as a terrorist organization.
Soleimani was a prominent figure within the Iranian regime and a national celebrity.
In addition to the general, Reuters news agency said that commander Abu Mahdi Al Muhandis was killed. He led the Popular Mobilization Forces, an Iraqi group of militia that receives support from Iran. The death of Al Muhandis is not confirmed by the United States.
The two army leaders would have been in a vehicle together when it was hit by American guns. Another vehicle with bodyguards was also hit by American weapons.
General Soleimani is said to have approved the demonstration at the US embassy in Baghdad earlier this week, according to the US Department of Defense. With the attack, the US wants Iran to abandon “future Iranian attack plans”.
A former commander of the IRG vowed to take revenge on Friday for the attack, which Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif calls “extremely dangerous and unwise”. On Friday, Iranian security experts gather to discuss the attack, which they describe as “criminal”. Iran’s spiritual leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, has declared three days of national mourning.
Shortly before the announcement of Soleimani’s death, US President Donald Trump posted a message on Twitter with just an image of the American flag. A somewhat doubtful reason to be proud of.