The United States has killed a top general in Iran in an airstrike at Baghdad’s international airport on Friday that was ordered by Donald Trump, Pentagon confirms.
Gen. Qassem Soleimani, Iran top general, the head of Iran’s elite Quds Force and the architect of Tehran’s proxy wars in the Middle East was killed in an airstrike by the US, AP reported.
The targeted killing could draw forceful Iranian retaliation against American interests in the region and spiral into a far larger conflict between the U.S. and Iran, endangering U.S. troops in Iraq, Syria and beyond.
The Defense Department said it killed Soleimani because he “was actively developing plans to attack American diplomats and service members in Iraq and throughout the region.” It also accused Soleimani of approving the attacks on the U.S. Embassy in Baghdad earlier this week.
Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei warned that a “harsh retaliation is waiting” for the U.S.
Iranian state TV carried a statement by Khamenei also calling Soleimani “the international face of resistance.” Khamenei declared three days of public mourning for the general’s death.
Also, an adviser to Iran’s President Hassan Rouhani warned President Donald Trump of retaliation from Tehran. “Trump through his gamble has dragged the U.S. into the most dangerous situation in the region,” Hessameddin Ashena wrote on the social media app Telegram. “Whoever put his foot beyond the red line should be ready to face its consequences.”