Update: Pentagon issues statement on rocket strike that killed Iranian Maj. Gen. Qassim Soleimani

Image credit: Twitter (below).

Update: From the Department of Defense, “At the direction of the President, the U.S. military has taken decisive defensive action to protect U.S. personnel abroad by killing Qasem Soleimani, the head of the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps-Quds Force, a U.S.-designated Foreign Terrorist Organization.”

“General Soleimani was actively developing plans to attack American diplomats and service members in Iraq and throughout the region.”

“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.”

“He had orchestrated attacks on coalition bases in Iraq over the last several months – including the attack on December 27th – culminating in the death and wounding of additional American and Iraqi personnel.”

Earlier:

Reports from the Fox News and the Washington Post, as well as Iraqi state television, are reporting that the powerful head of Iran’s Revolutionary Guard Corp, Major General Qassim Soleimani was killed in a rocket strike near the Baghdad International Airport early Friday.

The strike killed at least 4 other people, including a pro-Iranian Iraqi military chief, Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis, according to the New York Times. Al-Muhandis was an Iraqi militia commander.

Qassim Soleimani was the head of the Quds force – a special forces and intelligence branch of Iran’s Revolutionay Guard. Soleimani is widely known to be responsible for several instances of unrest in the Middle-East, as well as several fatal attacks on U.S. military personnel for over a decade.

The response is possibly a bold action taken by the U.S. or our allies in response to the Iran-backed attack on the U.S. embassy in Baghdad.

It is seen as a potential major escalation in Iran-U.S. tensions.

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