US-Iran tensions after Soleimani killing: All the latest updates
Qassem Soleimani, head of Iran’s elite Quds Force, killed in an air strike as tensions between US and Iran escalate.
Tensions between the United States and Iranescalated on Friday after a US air strike killed Qassem Soleimani, the head of Iran’s elite Quds Force, and Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis, the deputy commander of Iran-backed militias known as the Popular Mobilization Forces, or PMF.
The Pentagon confirmed the strike, saying it came “at the direction of the president”.
Soleimani and al-Muhandis’s 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 region against Israel and US interests.
Here are all the latest updates amid the heightened tensions as of Friday, January 3:
Iraqi parliament speaker condemns US air strike
Iraq’s Speaker of Parliament Mohammed al-Halbousi said in a statement: “Yesterday’s targeting of a military commander in Iraq’s armed forces near Baghdad international airport is a flagrant breach of sovereignty and violation of international agreements.”
“Iraq must avoid becoming a battlefield or a side in any regional or international conflict,” he said.
Halbousi, who as speaker is Iraq’s top Sunni Arab politician, called on the government to take all steps needed to stop such attacks.