At least eight people were killed in a rocket attack on the international airport of the Iraqi capital Baghdad. Besides, the Iranian general Qassem Soleimani, head of the Quds Force elite force of the Revolutionary Guard, was killed.
The attack was carried out by order of President Donald Trump to “prevent future Iranian attacks,” according to the Pentagon.
A new commander was appointed shortly after General Soleimani’s death. Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei appointed Esmail Ghaani.
Soleimani regularly operated outside of Iran. Together with pro-Iranian militias in Iraq, he coordinated the struggle of Iranian soldiers against the last strongholds of Islamic State (IS), a deadly enemy of Shiite Iran, in recent months.
President Trump did not yet respond to the action of the American troops, but he did tweet a message with only the American flag shortly before the Pentagon came out with the statement.
The death of Soleimani touches the Iranian regime. He was considered the most powerful man after the all-powerful leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, to whom Soleimani reported directly.
He was also the brain behind Iranian politics towards the US in the ever-increasing tensions between the two countries. Observers call Soleimani one of the most influential and feared people in the Middle East in recent years.