US President Donald Trump ordered the killing of Iran Revolutionary Guards commander Major General Qassem Soleimani in a drone strike on the Baghdad International Airport early this morning.
The Pentagon in a statement termed it a decisive defensive action to protect US personnel abroad. It said, General Soleimani was actively developing plans to attack American diplomats and service members in Iraq and throughout the region.
The US Department of Defense said, General Soleimani and his Quds Force were responsible for the deaths of hundreds of American and coalition service members and the wounding of thousands more.
Deputy commander of Iraq’s powerful Hashed al-Shaabi paramilitary force Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis was also killed in the airstrike.
The attack occurred amid tensions with the US after an Iran-backed militia and other protesters breached the American Embassy in Baghdad.
Following the airstrike, oil prices soared over four per cent ratcheting up tensions between the foes and fuelling fears of a conflict in the crude-rich region