Iranian General Qasem Suleimani Reportedly Killed in Strike at Baghdad Airport
A Shiite Muslim pilgrim walks with a bag adorned with a portrait of Qasem Suleimani, Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC), Major General and commander of the Quds Force, who was killed on Friday morning in Baghdad. Photo: MOHAMMED SAWAF/AFP via Getty Images
Early on Friday in Baghdad, an Iraqi paramilitary group stated that five of their members and two additional people were killed when an air strike hit two vehicles at Baghdad International Airport. Iraqi state media reported that Iranian General Qasem Suleimani and Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis, the deputy leader of the Popular Mobilization Forces, an umbrella organization for Iraqi militias, were among those killed in the attack. Suleimani is the head of Iran’s Quds Force, a unit of the Revolutionary Guard Corps responsible for clandestine operations abroad and for providing material support to groups like Hezbollah, Hamas, and the PMF.
Though the source of the attack has yet to be confirmed, and Iran and the U.S. have not confirmed the death of General Suleimani, the strike is likely to escalate the tension between the two powers currently engaged in proxy skirmishes in Iraq.