THE United States had killed Iran’s most powerful military commander General Qasem Soleimani in an air strike in Iraq.
The 62-year-old spearheaded Iranian military operations in the Middle East as head of Iran’s elite Quds Force, according to the BBC.
According to reports, Soleimani was killed at Baghdad airport, along with other Iran-backed militia figures. This took place early on Friday in a strike ordered by US President Donald Trump.
Trump said the general was “directly and indirectly responsible for the deaths of millions of people.”
Soleimani’s killing marks a major escalation in tensions between Washington and Tehran.
The BBC stated that under Soleimani’s leadership, Iran had bolstered Hezbollah in Lebanon and other pro-Iranian militant groups, expanded its military presence in Iraq and Syria and orchestrated Syria’s offensive against rebel groups in the country’s long civil war.
Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei said “severe revenge awaits the criminals” behind the attack and announced three days of national mourning.