A high-ranking Iranian military official was among seven people killed in an airstrike at Baghdad’s international airport, Iraqi television and three Iraqi officials have said.
General Qassim Soleimani, the head of Iran’s elite Quds Force, and Abu Mahdi al Muhandis, the deputy commander of Iran-backed militias known as the Popular Mobilisation Forces (PMF), were said to have died in the attack.
US officials told Reuters news agency that strikes were carried out against two targets linked to Iran in Baghdad on Thursday. The officials, speaking on the condition of anonymity, declined to give any further details.
The PMF blamed the US for the strike. There has been no immediate comment from the US or Iranian governments.
At least three rockets were fired at the airport, Iraqi security officials have said.
Iraq’s security media cell, which releases information regarding Iraqi security, said the rockets landed near the cargo hall and added that two vehicles were on fire.
The night-time attack occurred amid tensions with the US after a New Year’s Eve attack by Iran-backed militias on the US Embassy in Baghdad.
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The two-day embassy attack which ended on Wednesday prompted President Donald Trump to order the deployment of around 750 US soldiers to the Middle East.
The breach at the embassy followed US airstrikes on Sunday that killed 25 fighters of the Iran-backed militia in Iraq, the Kataeb Hezbollah.
The US military said the strikes were in retaliation for last week’s killing of an American contractor in a rocket attack on an Iraqi military base that the US blamed on the militia.
More to follow…
Source : Sky News