At least three rockets were fired at Baghdad International Airport Friday killing at least seven people, including Iranian Gen. Qassim Soleimani, the head of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps’ elite Quds Force, according to multiple reports early Friday.
Soleimani is the military mastermind whom Secretary of State Mike Pompeo had deemed equally as dangerous as Islamic State leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, who died in a strike by U.S.-led forces in October, Fox News reports.
The strike also killed Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis, the deputy commander of Iran-backed militias known as the Popular Mobilization Forces, three Iraqi officials told The Associated Press. Iraqi TV reported the deaths as well.
Initial reports say seven people were confirmed killed but the number could rise as the vehicles and bodies were badly charred.
Rockets Strike #Iraq‘s #BaghdadAirport, #USMilitary Choppers Spotted in Airspace. Three rockets landed on the edge of #Baghdad International Airport , causing explosions but no deaths or injuries, according to local reporters.#IraqiProtests pic.twitter.com/fdEFmkTxpq
— Ehab Al Obaidy (@Ehab8Alobaidy) January 2, 2020
— Steven nabil (@thestevennabil) January 3, 2020
Local reporters had suggested that pro-Iran military leaders may have been targeted, but officials have not yet confirmed all of the dead and who may have been behind the attack. An official with an Iran-backed paramilitary group known as the Popular Mobilization Forces told The Associated Press one of the victims was its airport protocol officer, identifying him as Mohammed Reda.
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