- The American government has claimed responsibility for the of killing Iranian general, Qasem Soleimani
- Soleimani was a key Iranian military commander before his death
- The Iranian government has, however, vowed that harsh revenge awaits Soleimani's killers
A report by the CNN in Baghdad indicates that President Donald Trump ordered an airstrike at Baghdad international airport that killed Qasem Soleimani, a key Iranian military commander, in a decisive defensive action to protect US personnel abroad.
Legit.ng gathered that the report noted that the airstrike, which was intended to deter future Iranian attack plans, was confirmed by the Pentagon on Thursday, January 2.
It was reported that the assassination of the top military leader marks a major escalation in regional tensions that have pitted Tehran against the US and Washington's Gulf Arab allies in the region.
According to the report, Soleimani was revered in Iran, where three days of national mourning have been declared.
In a message published to his official website, the country's supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, vowed revenge for the killing, saying that "harsh revenge awaits the criminals" involved.
Formed in 2014 to fight ISIS, the PMF is a Shia paramilitary force made up of former militias with close ties to Iran.
It was recognised under a 2016 Iraqi law as an independent military force that answers directly to the prime minister.
The CNN's report also quoted Pentagon as saying that Soleimani and his Quds Force were responsible for the deaths of hundreds of American and coalition service members, and the wounding of thousands more.
The Pentagon also blamed the Iranian general for orchestrating attacks on coalition bases in Iraq in recent months, including an attack on December 27, that culminated in the deaths of an American contractor and Iraqi personnel.
Khamenei warned the fight would continue and added it had been Soleimani's wish for years to become a martyr.
Meanwhile, Legit.ng had previously reported that the American airstrikes on an Iran-backed militia group, Kataib Hezbollah, in Iraq on Sunday, December 29, led to a violent demonstration.
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