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Iran's Gen. Soleimani killed in airstrike at Baghdad airport
Baghdad (AP) — Gen. Qassim Soleimani, the head of Iran’s elite Quds Force, was killed in an airstrike at Baghdad’s international airport Friday, Iraqi television and three Iraqi officials said.
The strike also killed Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis, the deputy commander of Iran-backed militias known as the Popular Mobilization Forces, or PMF, the officials said.
Their deaths are a potential turning point in the Middle East and are expected to draw severe retaliation from Iran and the forces it backs in the Middle East against Israel and American interests.
The PMF blamed the United States for an attack at Baghdad International Airport Friday.
The U.S. Department of Defense confirmed the death in a statement to ABC News:
"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," the statement read. "General Soleimani was actively developing plans to attack American diplomats and service members in Iraq and throughout the region."
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