Airstrike kills top Iran general Qasem Soleimani in Baghdad

Qassem Soleimani

FILE – In this Thursday, Feb. 11, 2016, file photo, Qassem Soleimani, commander of Iran’s Quds Force, attends an annual rally commemorating the anniversary of the 1979 Islamic revolution, in Tehran, Iran. Iraqi TV and three Iraqi officials said Friday, Jan. 3, 2020, that Gen. Qassim Soleimani, the head of Iran’s elite Quds Force, has been killed in an airstrike at Baghdad’s international airport. (AP Photo/Ebrahim Noroozi, File)

BAGHDAD, Iraq (KXAN/NBC News) — Earlier tonight in Baghdad, Iraq state television reported that the head of Iran’s elite Quds Force, Qasem Soleimani was killed in an airstrike at Baghdad’s International Airport, NBC reports.

Several people died.

The U.S. isn’t commenting, but it comes amid increasing tensions between Americans, Iraqis and Iranians.

An additional 650 American troops from Fort Bragg are now on the ground in the Middle East.

Secretary of Defense Mark Esper warned there are indications Iran — or its proxies — may be planning more attacks in Iraq.

And that was before the airstrike at the airport.

“We have all the capabilities inherent in the United State military to either respond to further attacks or to take preemptive action if additional attacks are being prepared,” said Esper.

This follows violent clashes at the American Embassy compound in Iraq.

The U.S. says pro-Iranian rioters lit fires and broke through an outer wall, though the Embassy itself remained secure.

Those protests happened after deadly U.S. airstrikes against Iranian-backed militias in Iraq. They had previously attacked U.S. forces, killing an American contractor.

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