Posted: Friday, January 3, 2020. 11:06 am CST.
By BBN Staff: Commander of Iranian forces, Qasem Soleimani, was killed in a US ordered drone strike in Baghdad early Friday.
According to a report by The New York Times (NY Times), Soleimani and his crew arrived by plane at the Baghdad International airport from Syria.
The men were picked up at the bottom of the airplane steps and as the vehicles left the airport, they were struck.
That strike was the second attack at the airport within hours.
Late Thursday, 3 rockets reportedly struck.
Just days before the strike, the American forces bombed three outposts of Kataib Hezbollah, an Iranian-supported militia in Iraq and Syria, in retaliation for the death of an American contractor in a rocket attack last week near the Iraqi city of Kirkuk.
A report from the United States said that Kataib Hezbollah fired 31 rockets into a base in Kirkuk Province last week. The rockets claimed the life of an American contractor and wounding several American and Iraqi servicemen.
The commander of Iranian forces was reportedly planning attacks on Americans across the region.
After the attack, Iran’s supreme leader called for vengeance.
American officials confirmed that the drone strike was authorized by US President, Donald Trump.
Commander Suleimani led the Quds Force of the Islamic Revolutionary Guards.
“General Suleimani was the architect of nearly every significant operation by Iranian intelligence and military forces over the past two decades, and his death was a staggering blow for Iran at a time of sweeping geopolitical conflict. In Iran, the leadership convened an emergency security meeting. And the country’s supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, issued a statement calling for three days of public mourning and then retaliation,” the article from NYTimes stated.
In addition, the report noted that United States officials were braced for potential Iranian retaliatory attacks, possibly including cyberattacks and terrorism, on American interests and allies.
Today, the United States Embassy in Baghdad issued a statement urging all American citizens to leave Iraq immediately due to “heightened tensions” following the death of Iranian general Soleimani.
Americans were also warned to avoid going to the US Embassy compound in Baghdad.
“Due to Iranian-backed militia attacks at the US Embassy compound, all public consular operations are suspended until further notice. US citizens should not approach the Embassy,” the embassy said.
“US citizens should depart via airline while possible, and failing that, to other countries via land,” the embassy urged.
US citizens in Iraq or those concerned about their family in Iraq were advised to contact the Department of State.
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