An Iraqi official says an airstrike north of Baghdad has hit two automobiles carrying members of Iran-backed militia, in the future after a U.S. airstrike killed prime Iranian Gen. Qassem Soleimani. The official stated 5 members of the militia have been killed.
The official spoke on situation of anonymity as a result of they was not licensed to speak to reporters.
The Iran-backed Well-liked Mobilization Forces confirmed the strike, saying it focused one in every of its medical convoys close to the stadium in Taji, north of Baghdad. The group denied any of its prime leaders have been killed.
The American army didn’t perform the reported assault, in accordance with a U.S. official who spoke on situation of anonymity.
The loss of life of Soleimani, the top of Iran’s elite Quds Drive, marks a serious escalation within the standoff between Washington and Iran, which has careened from one disaster to a different since U.S. President Donald Trump withdrew from the 2015 nuclear deal and imposed crippling sanctions.
The focused strike in opposition to Soleimani and any retaliation by Iran might ignite a battle that engulfs the entire area, endangering U.S. troops in Iraq, Syria and past. During the last twenty years, Soleimani had assembled a community of closely armed allies stretching all the way in which to southern Lebanon, on Israel’s doorstep.
America stated it was sending practically 3,000 extra troops to the Center East, reflecting concern about potential Iranian retaliation. The U.S. additionally urged Individuals to go away Iraq instantly following the airstrike at Baghdad’s worldwide airport that Iran’s state TV stated killed Soleimani and 9 others.
The announcement about sending extra troops got here as Trump stated Soleimani’s killing was not an effort to start a battle with Iran.
“We took motion final evening to cease a warfare. We didn’t take motion to start out a warfare,” Trump stated, including that he doesn’t search regime change in Iran.
Iran’s supreme chief, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, vowed “harsh retaliation” after the airstrike, calling Soleimani the “worldwide face of resistance.” Khamenei declared three days of public mourning and appointed Maj. Gen. Esmail Ghaani, Soleimani’s deputy, to interchange him as head of the Quds Drive.