The US has killed a high profile Iranian military leader in a missile strike near the Baghdad airport.
The White House said Donald Trump ordered an air strike that killed powerful Iranian general Qassem Suleimani in Baghdad in the early hours of Friday, in a dramatic escalation of an already bloody struggle between Washington and Tehran for influence across the region.
Suleimani, who ran Iranian military operations in Iraq and Syria, was targeted while being driven from Baghdad airport by local allies from the Popular Mobilisation Units (PMU). The deputy head of the PMU, Abu Mahdi al-Muhandes, a close Suleimani associate, was also killed in the attack.
Iran confirmed Suleimani’s death, saying the US would be responsible for the consequences.
“The US’ act of international terrorism, targeting & assassinating General Soleimani—THE most effective force fighting Daesh (ISIS), Al Nusrah, Al Qaeda et al—is extremely dangerous & a foolish escalation,” the Iranian foreign minister, Mohammad Javad Zarif, said on Twitter. “The US bears responsibility for all consequences of its rogue adventurism.”
This is a major, major provocation by Trump. I cannot tell what this will lead to but it is not going to be good.