Iran says powerful general killed in US airstrike in Iraq

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(Photo: MGN Image)

By QASSIM ABDUL-ZAHRA and ZEINA KARAM

BAGHDAD (AP) — The Pentagon says the U.S. military has killed Gen. Qassem Soleimani, the head of Iran’s elite Quds Force, at the direction of President Donald Trump.

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An airstrike killed Soleimani, architect of Iran’s regional security apparatus, at Baghdad’s international airport Friday, Iranian state television and three Iraqi officials said.

The attack is expected to draw severe Iranian retaliation against Israel and American interests.

The Defense Department says Soleimani “was actively developing plans to attack American diplomats and service members in Iraq and throughout the region.”

The strike also killed Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis, deputy commander of Iran-backed militias in Iraq known as the Popular Mobilization Forces, Iraqi officials said.